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: Student science projects explode with rocket

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

Cassini sees sunny seas on Titan

3 hours ago

(Phys.org) —As it soared past Saturn's large moon Titan recently, NASA's Cassini spacecraft caught a glimpse of bright sunlight reflecting off hydrocarbon seas.

Is space tourism safe or do civilians risk health effects?

6 hours ago

Several companies are developing spacecraft designed to take ordinary citizens, not astronauts, on short trips into space. "Space tourism" and short periods of weightlessness appear to be safe for most individuals ...

An unmanned rocket exploded. So what?

9 hours ago

Sputnik was launched more than 50 years ago. Since then we have seen missions launched to Mercury, Mars and to all the planets within the solar system. We have sent a dozen men to the moon and many more to ...

NASA image: Sunrise from the International Space Station

10 hours ago

NASA astronaut Reid Wiseman posted this image of a sunrise, captured from the International Space Station, to social media on Oct. 29, 2014. Wiseman wrote, "Not every day is easy. Yesterday was a tough one. ...

Copernicus operations secured until 2021

10 hours ago

In a landmark agreement for Europe's Copernicus programme, the European Commission and ESA have signed an Agreement of over €3 billion to manage and implement the Copernicus 'space component' between 2014 ...

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.