NASA keeps Kepler telescope in sleep mode due to low fuel level

Jul

7

2018

NASA has put the systems of the Kepler space telescope temporarily into a kind of sleep mode. The organization does that because it has recently been discovered that the fuel is running out. Preparations are being made to restart the systems with the remaining fuel.

That is what the space agency says on its website . Earlier this week, NASA researchers noticed that the fuel level of the Kepler telescope was too low, and then the sleep mode was activated. However, there is still a lot of data on the Kepler that has to be sent to earth, and the researchers are now preparing for it. Next month they want to try to get the Kepler to point its antenna towards the earth, so that the data can be downloaded.

Then, with the little bit of fuel left, a new exploration mission must be started; that would be the nineteenth. That should start on August 6, according to the schedule. NASA announces that it will provide more information once the data from the current exploration mission has been downloaded.

Kepler is likely to retire after the nineteenth reconnaissance mission. The successor was launched in April with a Falcon 9 rocket from SpaceX. This Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite, or TESS, is 350 kg lighter than the more than one tonne Kepler. The big difference with Kepler is the much larger area that the new telescope will chart. Kepler mainly focused on a relatively limited part of the space, with about 150,000 stars.

Kepler space telescope

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