The Kepler spacecraft recovers from emergency mode
NASA scientists have successfully recovered the Kepler spacecraft after it had gone into emergency mode about 75 million miles from Earth.
“It was the quick response and determination of the engineers throughout the weekend that led to the recovery,” Kepler and K2 mission manager Charlie Sobeck said.
“We are deeply appreciative of their efforts, and for the outpouring of support from the mission’s fans and followers from around the world.”
For now, it’s unclear what caused Kepler to enter this mode.
“That’s a question we won’t be able to answer for some time,” said Michele Johnson, a spokeswoman at NASA’s Ames Research Center. “The priority is getting the spacecraft back to doing its job, but making sure the steps taken are safe.”
Once data is on the ground, the team will thoroughly assess all on board systems to ensure the spacecraft is healthy enough to return to science mode and begin the K2 mission’s microlensing observing campaign, called Campaign 9. This checkout is anticipated to continue through the week.
Kepler was launched in 2009, with a three-year mission to discover planets around other stars.