Kepler spacecraft recovered from safe mode

Feb 08, 2011

(PhysOrg.com) -- The Kepler project team has recovered spacecraft from its Safe Mode event that occurred on Feb. 1, 2011.

The spacecraft returned to science data collection after an outage of 64 hours.

The likely cause was corrupt star tracker data that resulted in a false momentum alarm on the spacecraft.

Fault protection software reacted properly in making the spacecraft safe until the project engineers could contact the spacecraft and review telemetry.

An anomaly response team will continue to evaluate the telemetry to understand the root cause of the corrupt star tracker data and develop further mitigations.

While conducting recovery of the spacecraft from the event, the project downloaded science data from the spacecraft's solid state recorder that was collected since Jan. 6.

That data is now being routed to the Science Operations Center where it will be processed for the science team's evaluation.

The team is making plans for the next science data collection download and quarterly roll.

Explore further: Image: A cosmic hurricane

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Nik_2213
not rated yet Feb 08, 2011
Hopefully it was just a stray cosmic ray...
sjm
not rated yet Feb 08, 2011
Somewhat ironic that an astronomical observatory would have a star tracking problem.
antialias
not rated yet Feb 09, 2011
Could be just a speck of dust that landed on the lens/mirror/protective covering that got confused for a star 'jumping out of position'.