Kepler Spacecraft Stabilized After Unexplained Emergency, NASA Says
After a weekend of uncertainty for the Kepler spacecraft, NASA let loose a sigh of aid on Monday, saying that "the spacecraft reached a secure state with the communication antenna pointed towards Earth."
NASA posted a press release from mission supervisor Charlie Sobeck on Monday, saying that the "mission has cancelled the spacecraft emergency, returning the Deep Area Community floor communications to regular scheduling."
In response to a press launch posted on Friday, "throughout scheduled contact on Thursday, April 7, mission operations engineers found that the Kepler spacecraft was in Emergency Mode (EM)." Emergency Mode operates as a kind of hibernation for the spacecraft.
Kepler was launched on March 7, 2009, and is presently round seventy five million miles away from Earth. It takes thirteen minutes for a message to journey to the spacecraft and again.
Kepler technically completed its unique mission in 2012, however as a result of it was so profitable the mission has been indefinitely prolonged in order that Kepler can proceed on the lookout for astronomical objects. As of 2016, Kepler’s prolonged mission "K2" has found over 1,000 exoplanets, together with one similar to Earth.
That is the primary malfunction for the area telescope, based on Sobeck. Presently, NASA is pursuing an investigation into what brought about the occasion, "with a precedence on returning the spacecraft to science operations."
"As soon as knowledge is on the bottom, the workforce will completely assess all on-board methods to make sure the spacecraft is wholesome sufficient to return to science mode and start the K2 mission’s microlensing observing marketing campaign, referred to as Marketing campaign 9," Sobeck stated.
This checkout is anticipated to proceed by way of the week, in accordance with NASA.