Tuesday, July 10, 2018

NASA's Kepler Space Telescope Enters Hibernation Mode

Article Written By: Kyle Tam


 NASA's Kepler space telescope has officially entered into its low-fuel hibernation state. According to state officials, the telescope which is famous for discovering over 2,500 exoplanets known to date is nearing the end of its life.
 In a move to attempt to ensure that Kepler is able to beam its latest data haul back to its scientist handlers next month, NASA scientists are putting it into hibernation to ensure it has enough fuel for its last haul.
  "To bring the data home, the spacecraft must point its large antenna back to Earth and transmit the data during its allotted Deep Space Network time, which is scheduled in early August," NASA officials wrote in a statement on July 6. (The Deep Space Network is the global array of radio telescopes that NASA uses to communicate with its spacecrafts.)
 "Until then, the spacecraft will remain stable and parked in a no-fuel-use safe mode," added the team. "On August 2, the team will command the spacecraft to awaken from its no-fuel-use state and manoeuvre the spacecraft to the correct orientation and downlink the data. If the manoeuvre and download are successful, the team will begin its 19th observation campaign on August 6 with the remaining fuel.

Read the full press release at: https://www.nasa.gov/feature/ames/nasa-s-kepler-spacecraft-pauses-science-observations-to-download-science-data

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