Author Topic: NASA - Kepler updates  (Read 171235 times)

Offline Hungry4info3

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Re: NASA - Kepler updates
« Reply #180 on: 08/20/2012 04:35 AM »
Doing the math with the figures provided for Kepler-54c, I expect it to get 6 times the insolation from its star that Earth receives from Sol. I wouldn't get too excited about it.

Offline Bubbinski

Re: NASA - Kepler updates
« Reply #181 on: 08/20/2012 04:37 AM »
I would now be surprised if it took 10-15 years to find earth's "twin" seeing how we're able to see smaller planets all the time, seeing how things are advancing. 

You're right these are truly exciting times.  In the last 4 days Mars Curiosity has fired her laser, Voyager *may* be out of the solar system, and now this, an earth size planet in the habitable zone of a star (if that app is right.  I found something else that listed that planet as KOI 886.02 and it was just 0.083 AU from the star and habitable zone is 0.25 to 0.44.  Why does the app show it in the middle of the habitable zone then?) 

This new listing of exoplanets shows that most of the new ones listed were earth or super earth sized.  Now I'm wondering when we'll find the first exo-moon.

Here's a link to the KOI (Kepler objects of interest) list from Feb 2012:

http://archive.stsci.edu/kepler/planet_candidates.html
« Last Edit: 08/20/2012 05:05 AM by Bubbinski »
I'll even excitedly look forward to "flags and footprints" and suborbital missions. Just fly...somewhere.

Offline jacqmans

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Re: NASA - Kepler updates
« Reply #182 on: 08/29/2012 07:00 AM »
RELEASE: 12-298

NASA'S KEPLER DISCOVERS MULTIPLE PLANETS ORBITING A PAIR OF STARS

NASA's Kepler mission has discovered multiple transiting planets
orbiting two suns for the first time. The system, known as a
circumbinary planetary system, is 4,900 light-years from Earth in the
constellation Cygnus.

Coming less than a year after the announcement of the first
circumbinary planet, Kepler-16b, this discovery proves that more than
one planet can form and persist in the stressful realm of a binary
star. The discovery demonstrates the diversity of planetary systems
in our galaxy.

Astronomers detected two planets in the Kepler-47 system, a pair of
orbiting stars that eclipse each other every 7.5 days from our
vantage point on Earth. One star is similar to the sun in size, but
only 84 percent as bright. The second star is diminutive, measuring
only one-third the size of the sun and less than 1 percent as bright.


"In contrast to a single planet orbiting a single star, the planet in
a circumbinary system must transit a 'moving target.' As a
consequence, time intervals between the transits and their durations
can vary substantially, sometimes short, other times long," said
Jerome Orosz, associate professor of astronomy at San Diego State
University and lead author of the paper. "The intervals were the
telltale sign these planets are in circumbinary orbits."

The inner planet, Kepler-47b, orbits the pair of stars in less than 50
days. While it cannot be directly viewed, it is thought to be a
sweltering world, where the destruction of methane in its
super-heated atmosphere might lead to a thick haze that could blanket
the planet. At three times the radius of Earth, Kepler-47b is the
smallest known transiting circumbinary planet.

The outer planet, Kepler-47c, orbits its host pair every 303 days,
placing it in the so-called "habitable zone," the region in a
planetary system where liquid water might exist on the surface of a
planet. While not a world hospitable for life, Kepler-47c is thought
to be a gaseous giant slightly larger than Neptune, where an
atmosphere of thick bright water-vapor clouds might exist.

"Unlike our sun, many stars are part of multiple-star systems where
two or more stars orbit one another. The question always has been --
do they have planets and planetary systems? This Kepler discovery
proves that they do," said William Borucki, Kepler mission principal
investigator at NASA's Ames Research Center in Moffett Field, Calif.
"In our search for habitable planets, we have found more
opportunities for life to exist."

To search for transiting planets, the research team used data from the
Kepler space telescope, which measures dips in the brightness of more
than 150,000 stars. Additional ground-based spectroscopic
observations using telescopes at the McDonald Observatory at the
University of Texas at Austin helped characterize the stellar
properties. The findings are published in the journal Science.

"The presence of a full-fledged circumbinary planetary system orbiting
Kepler-47 is an amazing discovery," said Greg Laughlin, professor of
Astrophysics and Planetary Science at the University of California in
Santa Cruz. "These planets are very difficult to form using the
currently accepted paradigm, and I believe that theorists, myself
included, will be going back to the drawing board to try to improve
our understanding of how planets are assembled in dusty circumbinary
disks."

Ames manages Kepler's ground system development, mission operations
and science data analysis. NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in
Pasadena, Calif., managed the Kepler mission development.

Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp. in Boulder, Colo., developed the
Kepler flight system and supports mission operations with the
Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics at the University of
Colorado in Boulder.

The Space Telescope Science Institute in Baltimore archives, hosts and
distributes Kepler science data. Kepler is NASA's tenth Discovery
Mission and funded by NASA's Science Mission Directorate at the
agency's headquarters in Washington.

For more information about the Kepler mission, visit:

http://www.nasa.gov/kepler

Offline catdlr

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Re: NASA - Kepler updates
« Reply #183 on: 11/15/2012 12:36 AM »
News release: 2012-359                                                                       Nov. 14, 2012

NASA's Kepler Wraps Prime Mission, Begins Extension

The full version of this story with accompanying images is at:
http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/news/news.php?release=2012-359&cid=release_2012-359

PASADENA, Calif. -- NASA is marking two milestones in the search for planets like Earth; the successful completion of the Kepler Space Telescope's three-and-a-half-year prime mission and the beginning of an extended mission that could last as long as four years.

Scientists have used Kepler data to identify more than 2,300 planet candidates and confirm more than 100 planets. Kepler is teaching us that the galaxy is teeming with planetary systems and that planets are prolific, and is giving us hints that nature makes small planets efficiently.

So far, hundreds of Earth-size planet candidates have been found, as well as candidates that orbit in the habitable zone, the region in a planetary system where liquid water might exist on the surface of a planet. None of the candidates is exactly like Earth. With the completion of its prime mission, Kepler now has collected enough data to begin finding true sun-Earth analogs -- Earth-size planets with a one-year orbit around stars similar to the sun.

"The initial discoveries of the Kepler mission indicate at least a third of the stars have planets and the number of planets in our galaxy must number in the billions," said William Borucki, Kepler principal investigator at NASA's Ames Research Center in Moffett Field, Calif. "The planets of greatest interest are other Earths, and these could already be in the data awaiting analysis. Kepler's most exciting results are yet to come."

NASA's Kepler Space Telescope searches for planet candidates orbiting distant suns, or exoplanets, by continuously measuring the brightness of more than 150,000 stars. When a planet candidate passes, or transits, in front of the star from the spacecraft's vantage point, light from the star is blocked. Different-sized planets block different amounts of starlight. The amount of starlight blocked by a planet reveals its size relative to its star.

Kepler was launched March 6, 2009. Its mission was to survey a portion of the galaxy to determine what fraction of stars might harbor potentially habitable, Earth-sized planets. Planets orbiting in or near habitable zones are of particular interest.

Kepler began the search for small worlds like our own on May 12, 2009, after two months of commissioning. Within months, five exoplanets, known as hot Jupiters because of their enormous size and orbits close to their stars, were confirmed.

Results from Kepler data continue to expand our understanding of planets and planetary systems. Highlights from the prime mission include:

-- In August 2010, scientists confirmed the discovery of the first planetary system with more than one planet transiting the same star. The Kepler-9 system opened the door to measurement of gravitational interactions between planets as observed by the variations in their transit timing. This powerful new technique enables astronomers, in many cases, to calculate the mass of planets directly from Kepler data, without the need for follow-up observations from the ground.

-- In January 2011, the Kepler team announced the discovery of the first unquestionably rocky planet outside the solar system. Kepler-10b, measuring 1.4 times the size of Earth, is the smallest confirmed planet with both a radius and mass measurement. Kepler has continued to uncover smaller and smaller planets, some almost as small as Mars, which tells us small rocky worlds may be common in the galaxy.

-- In February 2011, scientists announced Kepler had found a very crowded and compact planetary system -- a star with multiple transiting planets. Kepler-11 has six planets larger than Earth, all orbiting closer to their star than Venus orbits our sun. This and other subsequently identified compact, multi-planet systems have orbital spacing relative to their host sun and neighboring planets unlike anything envisioned prior to the mission.

-- In September 2011, Kepler data confirmed the existence of a world with a double sunset like the one famously portrayed in the film "Star Wars" more than 35 years ago. The discovery of Kepler-16b turned science fiction into science fact. Since then, the discoveries of six additional worlds orbiting double stars further demonstrated planets can form and persist in the environs of a double-star system.

-- In December 2011, NASA announced Kepler's discovery of the mission's first planet in a habitable zone. Kepler-22b, about 2.4 times the size of Earth, is the smallest-radius planet yet found to orbit a sun-like star in the habitable zone. This discovery confirmed that we are getting continually closer to finding planets like our own.

-- In February 2012, the Kepler team announced more than 1,000 new transiting planet candidates for a cumulative total of 2,321. The data continue the trend toward identifying smaller planets at longer orbital periods, similar to Earth. The results include hundreds of planetary systems.

-- Recently, citizen scientists participating in Planet Hunters, a program led by Yale University, New Haven, Conn., that enlists the public to comb through Kepler data for signs of transiting planets, made their first planet discovery. The joint effort of amateur astronomers and scientists led to the first reported case of a planet orbiting a double star. The three bodies are, in turn, being orbited by a second distant pair of stars.

"Kepler's bounty of new planet discoveries, many quite different from anything found previously, will continue to astound," said Jack Lissauer, planetary scientist at Ames. "But to me, the most wonderful discovery of the mission has not been individual planets, but the systems of two, three, even six planets crowded close to their stars, and, like the planets orbiting about our sun, moving in nearly the same plane. Like people, planets interact with their neighbors and can be greatly affected by them. What are the neighborhoods of Earth-size exoplanets like? This is the question I most hope Kepler will answer in the years to come."

In April 2012, NASA awarded Kepler an extended mission through as late as 2016. More time will enable the continued search for worlds like our own -- worlds that are not too far and too close to their sun.

"The Earth isn't unique, nor the center of the universe," said Geoff Marcy, professor of astronomy at the University of California at Berkeley. "The diversity of other worlds is greater than depicted in all the science fiction novels and movies. Aristotle would be proud of us for answering some of the most profound philosophical questions about our place in the universe."

Ames manages Kepler's ground system development, mission operations and science data analysis. NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif., managed the Kepler mission development. Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp. in Boulder, Colo., developed the Kepler flight system and supports mission operations with the Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics at the University of Colorado in Boulder. The Space Telescope Science Institute in Baltimore archives, hosts and distributes Kepler science data. Kepler is NASA's 10th Discovery Mission and is funded by NASA's Science Mission Directorate at the agency's headquarters in Washington.

For more information about NASA's Kepler mission, visit: http://www.nasa.gov/kepler .

Whitney Clavin 818-354-4673
Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif.
whitney.clavin@jpl.nasa.gov

Michele Johnson 650-604-4789
Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, Calif.
michele.johnson@nasa.gov

J.D. Harrington 202-358-5241
Headquarters, Washington
j.d.harrington@nasa.gov
- end -
Tony De La Rosa

Offline Ben the Space Brit

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Re: NASA - Kepler updates
« Reply #184 on: 11/15/2012 10:25 AM »
Just out of interest, what is the maximum time Kepler is expected to be operable?
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Offline Star One

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Re: NASA - Kepler updates
« Reply #185 on: 11/17/2012 07:37 PM »
Just out of interest, what is the maximum time Kepler is expected to be operable?

Not sure but one thing I would say is that being as it has had some hardware issues of late I would bet that estimate of life expectancy would not be as long as if you had asked the people running it a year ago.

Offline MarsMethanogen

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Re: NASA - Kepler updates
« Reply #186 on: 11/19/2012 03:48 AM »
Just out of interest, what is the maximum time Kepler is expected to be operable?

Not sure but one thing I would say is that being as it has had some hardware issues of late I would bet that estimate of life expectancy would not be as long as if you had asked the people running it a year ago.
Can you expand on the "hardware issues"?

Offline hop

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Re: NASA - Kepler updates
« Reply #187 on: 11/19/2012 04:15 AM »
Can you expand on the "hardware issues"?
Kepler recently lost a reaction wheel, see http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/kepler/news/keplerm-20122407.html

If it loses one more, the mission is almost certainly over.

Offline jacqmans

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Re: NASA - Kepler updates
« Reply #188 on: 01/07/2013 08:07 PM »
RELEASE: 13-009

NASA KEPLER SCIENTIST HONORED BY NATIONAL ACADEMY OF SCIENCES

WASHINGTON -- William Borucki, science principal investigator for
NASA's Kepler mission at the agency's Ames Research Center at Moffett
Field in California, is the recipient of the 2013 Henry Draper Medal
awarded by the National Academy of Sciences.

Borucki is honored for his founding concept and visionary leadership
during the development of Kepler, which uses transit photometry to
determine the frequency and kinds of planets around other stars.

"This is a commendable recognition for Bill Borucki and the Kepler
mission," said John Grunsfeld, associate administrator for the
Science Mission Directorate at NASA Headquarters in Washington. "It
is well deserved and a tribute both to Bill's dedication and
persistence and the fantastic and exciting results from Kepler."

Kepler is the first NASA mission capable of finding Earth-size planets
in or near the "habitable zone," the region in a planetary system
where liquid water can exist on the surface of an orbiting planet.
Kepler is detecting planets and possible candidates with a wide range
of sizes and orbital distances to help scientists better understand
our place in the galaxy.

"It has been a privilege to participate in the initial steps in the
search for life in our galaxy. I would like to thank all who have
worked with me to make this possible," said Borucki.

Borucki earned a Master of Science degree in physics from the
University of Wisconsin at Madison in 1962 and joined Ames as a space
scientist that same year. The results of Borucki's early work
developing spectroscopic instrumentation to determine the plasma
properties of hypervelocity shock waves was used in the design of the
heat shields for the Apollo mission. In June, Borucki celebrated 50
years of service at NASA.

The Henry Draper Medal is awarded every four years for an outstanding,
recently published contribution to astrophysical research and carries
with it an award of $15,000.

The award will be presented at a ceremony April 28, during the
National Academy of Sciences' 150th annual meeting in Washington.
Ames manages Kepler's ground system development, mission operations
and science data analysis. NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in
Pasadena, Calif., managed Kepler mission development. Ball Aerospace
and Technologies Corp. in Boulder, Colo., developed the Kepler flight
system and supports mission operations with JPL at the Laboratory for
Atmospheric and Space Physics at the University of Colorado in
Boulder.

The Space Telescope Science Institute in Baltimore archives, hosts and
distributes the Kepler science data. Kepler is NASA's 10th Discovery
Mission and is funded by NASA's Science Mission Directorate at the
agency's headquarters.

For information about the Kepler mission, visit:


http://www.nasa.gov/kepler


Offline Borklund

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Re: NASA - Kepler updates
« Reply #190 on: 01/08/2013 10:52 AM »
Kepler making world news:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-20942440

"Kepler telescope: Earth-sized planets 'number 17bn'"

Exciting stuff :)

Offline Ben the Space Brit

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Re: NASA - Kepler updates
« Reply #191 on: 01/08/2013 01:29 PM »
Kepler making world news:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-20942440

"Kepler telescope: Earth-sized planets 'number 17bn'"

Exciting stuff :)

Bit of misreporting there, IMO.  The actual report talks about "Earth-sized planets in close orbits", so this really is talking about 'hot Earths', not potential Earth-like worlds.

Unless you want to look for quartic crystal-based lifeforms that can survive in Venus-like conditions, that is...
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Offline Borklund

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Re: NASA - Kepler updates
« Reply #192 on: 01/08/2013 04:19 PM »
Kepler making world news:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-20942440

"Kepler telescope: Earth-sized planets 'number 17bn'"

Exciting stuff :)

Bit of misreporting there, IMO.  The actual report talks about "Earth-sized planets in close orbits", so this really is talking about 'hot Earths', not potential Earth-like worlds.

Unless you want to look for quartic crystal-based lifeforms that can survive in Venus-like conditions, that is...
That depends entirely on what type and size star the Earth-sized planets orbit, no? The number is 1.7bn Earth-sized planets, not just potentially habitable Earth-sized planets. That said, there ought to be a fair number of potentially habitable planets among them.

Offline Robotbeat

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Re: NASA - Kepler updates
« Reply #193 on: 01/08/2013 04:34 PM »
There are, also, probably a lot of habitable moons.
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Offline Hungry4info3

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Re: NASA - Kepler updates
« Reply #194 on: 01/08/2013 04:53 PM »
Kepler making world news:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-20942440

"Kepler telescope: Earth-sized planets 'number 17bn'"

Exciting stuff :)

Bit of misreporting there, IMO.  The actual report talks about "Earth-sized planets in close orbits", so this really is talking about 'hot Earths', not potential Earth-like worlds.

Unless you want to look for quartic crystal-based lifeforms that can survive in Venus-like conditions, that is...
That depends entirely on what type and size star the Earth-sized planets orbit, no? The number is 1.7bn Earth-sized planets, not just potentially habitable Earth-sized planets. That said, there ought to be a fair number of potentially habitable planets among them.

The exact results are one in six stars have an Earth-sized planet within orbital periods of less than 40 days. For M dwarfs or late K dwarfs, sure, that can encompass the HZ.

Offline catdlr

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Re: NASA - Kepler updates
« Reply #195 on: 01/10/2013 06:38 PM »
RELEASE : 13-008
 
 
NASA'S Kepler Mission Discovers 461 New Planet Candidates
 
 
WASHINGTON -- NASA's Kepler mission Monday announced the discovery of 461 new planet candidates. Four of the potential new planets are less than twice the size of Earth and orbit in their sun's "habitable zone," the region in the planetary system where liquid water might exist on the surface of a planet.

One of the four newly identified super Earth-size planet candidates, KOI-172.02, orbits in the habitable zone of a star similar to our sun. The possible planet is approximately 1.5 times the radius of Earth and orbits its host star every 242 days. Additional follow-up analysis will be required to confirm the candidate as a planet.

Based on observations conducted from May 2009 to March 2011, the findings show a steady increase in the number of smaller-size planet candidates and the number of stars with more than one candidate.

"There is no better way to kickoff the start of the Kepler extended mission than to discover more possible outposts on the frontier of potentially life bearing worlds," said Christopher Burke, Kepler scientist at the SETI Institute in Mountain View, Calif., who is leading the analysis.

Since the last Kepler catalog was released in February 2012, the number of candidates discovered in the Kepler data has increased by 20 percent and now totals 2,740 potential planets orbiting 2,036 stars. The most dramatic increases are seen in the number of Earth-size and super Earth-size candidates discovered, which grew by 43 and 21 percent respectively.

The new data increases the number of stars discovered to have more than one planet candidate from 365 to 467. Today, 43 percent of Kepler's planet candidates are observed to have neighbor planets.

"The large number of multi-candidate systems being found by Kepler implies that a substantial fraction of exoplanets reside in flat multi-planet systems," said Jack Lissauer, planetary scientist at NASA's Ames Research Center in Moffett Field, Calif. "This is consistent with what we know about our own planetary neighborhood."

The Kepler space telescope identifies planet candidates by repeatedly measuring the change in brightness of more than 150,000 stars in search of planets that pass in front, or "transit," their host star. At least three transits are required to verify a signal as a potential planet.

Scientists analyzed more than 13,000 transit-like signals to eliminate known spacecraft instrumentation and astrophysical false positives, phenomena that masquerade as planetary candidates, to identify the potential new planets.

Candidates require additional follow-up observations and analyses to be confirmed as planets. At the beginning of 2012, 33 candidates in the Kepler data had been confirmed as planets. Today, there are 105.

"The analysis of increasingly longer time periods of Kepler data uncovers smaller planets in longer period orbits-- orbital periods similar to Earth's," said Steve Howell, Kepler mission project scientist at Ames. "It is no longer a question of will we find a true Earth analogue, but a question of when."

The complete list of Kepler planet candidates is available in an interactive table at the NASA Exoplanet Archive. The archive is funded by NASA's Exoplanet Exploration Program to collect and make public data to support the search for and characterization of exoplanets and their host stars.

Ames manages Kepler's ground system development, mission operations and science data analysis. NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Pasadena, Calif., managed Kepler mission development. Ball Aerospace and Technologies Corp. in Boulder, Colo., developed the Kepler flight system and supports mission operations with JPL at the Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics at the University of Colorado in Boulder.

The Space Telescope Science Institute in Baltimore archives, hosts and distributes the Kepler science data. Kepler is NASA's 10th Discovery Mission and is funded by NASA's Science Mission Directorate at the agency's headquarters in Washington.

JPL manages NASA's Exoplanet Exploration Program. The NASA Exoplanet Archive is hosted at the Infrared Processing and Analysis Center at the California Institute of Technology.

For information about the NASA Exoplanet Archive, visit:

http://exoplanetarchive.ipac.caltech.edu/index.html


For information about the Kepler Mission, visit:


http://www.nasa.gov/kepler


 
- end -
« Last Edit: 01/10/2013 06:39 PM by catdlr »
Tony De La Rosa

Offline RocketEconomist327

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Re: NASA - Kepler updates
« Reply #196 on: 01/18/2013 05:42 PM »
Sad to see Kepler having problems.  Arguably the best SMD mission I have watched from inception to launch and mission execution.

Quote from: Kepler Report
Earlier this month during a semi-weekly contact with the spacecraft, the team detected an increase in the amount of torque required to spin one of the three remaining reaction wheels. This increase in friction occurred before the Jan. 11, 2013 quarterly roll, and persisted after the spacecraft roll and several momentum desaturations of the reaction wheels. Increased friction over a prolonged period can lead to accumulated wear on the reaction wheel, and possible wheel failure. To minimize wheel friction, the team implemented several mitigations including increased operating temperatures, higher spin rates, and bi-directional operation following the failure of reaction wheel #2 in July 2012.

http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/kepler/news/keplerm-20130117.html

VR
RE327
You can talk about all the great things you can do, or want to do, in space; but unless the rocket scientists get a sound understanding of economics (and quickly), the US space program will never achieve the greatness it should.

Putting my money where my mouth is.

Offline robertross

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Re: NASA - Kepler updates
« Reply #197 on: 01/19/2013 03:46 PM »
Sad to see Kepler having problems.  Arguably the best SMD mission I have watched from inception to launch and mission execution.


Indeed. An incredible spacecraft
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Offline Star One

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Re: NASA - Kepler updates
« Reply #198 on: 01/19/2013 07:16 PM »
Sad to see Kepler having problems.  Arguably the best SMD mission I have watched from inception to launch and mission execution.

Quote from: Kepler Report
Earlier this month during a semi-weekly contact with the spacecraft, the team detected an increase in the amount of torque required to spin one of the three remaining reaction wheels. This increase in friction occurred before the Jan. 11, 2013 quarterly roll, and persisted after the spacecraft roll and several momentum desaturations of the reaction wheels. Increased friction over a prolonged period can lead to accumulated wear on the reaction wheel, and possible wheel failure. To minimize wheel friction, the team implemented several mitigations including increased operating temperatures, higher spin rates, and bi-directional operation following the failure of reaction wheel #2 in July 2012.

http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/kepler/news/keplerm-20130117.html

VR
RE327

I hope it can manage to last the time it needs to complete its observations, sounds like it is in precarious position.

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Re: NASA - Kepler updates
« Reply #199 on: 01/20/2013 03:03 AM »
Quote from: Kepler Report
Earlier this month during a semi-weekly contact with the spacecraft, the team detected an increase in the amount of torque required to spin one of the three remaining reaction wheels.

These reaction wheels fail often, on many missions.  Usually it seems to be bearing problems.  There must be some reason why they cannot use some sort of non-contact bearing - gas film, oil film, magnetic bearing, etc.  Does anyone know what the reason(s) are?


Tags: updates