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Kepler Space Telescope Put Into Hibernation Mode Before Start of 19th Observation Campaign

Accepted submission by takyon at 2018-07-07 11:03:08

NASA's Kepler Spacecraft Pauses Science Observations to Download Science Data []

Earlier this week, NASA's Kepler team received an indication that the spacecraft fuel tank is running very low. NASA has placed the spacecraft in a hibernation-like state in preparation to download the science data collected in its latest observation campaign. Once the data has been downloaded, the expectation is to start observations for the next campaign with any remaining fuel.

[...] 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. Until then, the spacecraft will remain stable and parked in a no-fuel-use safe mode. On August 2, the team will command the spacecraft to awaken from its no-fuel-use state and maneuver the spacecraft to the correct orientation and downlink the data. If the maneuver and download are successful, the team will begin its 19th observation campaign on August 6 with the remaining fuel.

Also at The Verge [] and Engadget [].

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Citizen Scientists Credited for Discovery of Multi-Planet System []
Kepler's K2 Mission Going Strong With Another 95 New Exoplanets Confirmed []
NASA's TESS Mission Set to Launch on Wednesday, April 18 []

Original Submission