Saturday, April 9, 2016

Kepler Enters "Emergency Mode"

Spacecraft controllers are working to restore control of NASA’s Kepler astronomy spacecraft after it entered an “emergency mode,” disrupting science observations, the mission’s manager said April 8.

In a statement, Charlie Sobeck, Kepler mission manager, said that spacecraft operators found the spacecraft was in emergency mode during a scheduled communications session with the spacecraft April 7. Sobeck described that emergency mode as the spacecraft’s lowest operational mode and is “fuel intensive.”

Kepler appeared to enter emergency mode about 36 hours before the communications session, but Sobeck didn’t state what might have caused the incident. The spacecraft was operating normally during its prior communications session April 4.

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