The 28-year-old Hubble space telescope has temporarily suspended operations because of a gyroscope failure.
Responding to a claim that the safe mode was "scary news for the most famous telescope in history", Dr Osten downplayed the issues. "Everybody said OK, no big surprise, we've been expecting that for a year, let's turn on the gyro that was off at the time to get back onto science operations".
The Hubble telescope has three pairs of two gyroscopes, with each pair consisting of a primary and back-up gyroscope.
The remaining three are technically enhanced and therefore expected to have significantly longer operational lives.
But when the telescope's operators switched the instrument to running on all three enhanced gyroscopes, one wasn't working quite as well as it should have been.
"It's true. Very stressful weekend".
'First step is try to bring back the last gyro, which had been off, and is being problematic'.
Hubble is now down to two working gyroscopes and needs at least three for optimal operations but it can continue to provide observations with just one functioning gyroscope.
Since its launch, the space telescope has made over 163,500 trips around Earth, more than 1.5 million observations of over 43,500 celestial objects and generated 153 terabytes of data, as per cnet.com.
The Hubble telescope was launched on April 24, 1990, via the space shuttle Discovery from Kennedy Space Centre in Florida. These six gyroscopes were replaced during a 2009 fix mission to the telescope.
The failed gyroscope has already been showing end-of-life behavior for about a year, NASA said on its website.
If that fails, chances are NASA's next plan is to run the telescope with only a single gyro. It will only use one of its remaining functioning gyros, which will limit its sky coverage.
Only two of those enhanced gyros are now running.
The instrument, named after astronomer Edwin Powell Hubble, has been celebrated for its involvement in tracking asteroids, analysing the Kuiper Belt and documenting the nebula of dying stars.
NASA has convened an anomaly review board to investigate the issue with the enhanced gyro. He added, "There are some things we're only going to be able to do with Hubble for the foreseeable future".