Experts investigate Kepler's condition

Jan 04, 2011

In response to the Dec. 22, 2010 Safe Mode event on the Kepler spacecraft, the mission team has brought in several experts and begun a detailed anomaly investigation.

The team's initial results are that the spacecraft appears to be in good condition, and that the on-board fault protection is working as designed. During an initial assessment of the likely source of the anomaly, the team has been able to highlight the circuits most likely to have been involved in causing the . The team also has performed a failure analysis, which has not yet revealed any part that would have produced the behavior seen on the spacecraft, and has identified no part failures that would put the spacecraft at undue risk.

With this assessment, the team commanded the to gather more data on both the primary and back-up electronics. Those data were gathered on Dec. 29, 2010 and on Dec. 30, 2010, and are being analyzed. The results appear to show that the back-up electronics are not suffering from the same problem seen on the primary unit.

Science operations will not resume until the first week in Jan. 2011, at the earliest, while the team assesses whether or not to switch to the back-up hardware.

Meanwhile, the team is assessing delaying the next science data download, currently scheduled for late Jan. 2011, to minimize future data disruptions.

Explore further: Life 'not as we know it' possible on Saturn's moon Titan

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Kepler experienced 'safe mode' event

Dec 23, 2010

On Dec. 22, 2010, Kepler experienced a safe mode event. A safe mode is a self-protective measure that the spacecraft takes when something unexpected occurs. During safe mode, the spacecraft points the solar ...

Team restoring Mars orbiter after reboot

Sep 20, 2010

(PhysOrg.com) -- NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter put itself into a precautionary standby mode after experiencing a spontaneous computer reboot on Sept. 15. The mission's ground team has begun restoring ...

Engineers assessing Cassini spacecraft

Nov 05, 2010

Engineers at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif., are working to understand what caused NASA's Cassini spacecraft to put itself into "safe mode," a precautionary standby mode. Cassini entered ...

Recommended for you

Study of atmospheric 'froth' may help GPS communications

9 hours ago

When you don't know how to get to an unfamiliar place, you probably rely on a smart phone or other device with a Global Positioning System (GPS) module for guidance. You may not realize that, especially at ...

SMAP satellite extends 5-meter reflector boom

9 hours ago

Like a cowboy at a rodeo, NASA's newest Earth-observing satellite, the Soil Moisture Active Passive (SMAP), has triumphantly raised its "arm" and unfurled a huge golden "lasso" (antenna) that it will soon ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.