NASA’s Kepler Enters Emergency Mode

Posted: Apr 9 2016, 4:58am CDT | by , Updated: Apr 9 2016, 7:52am CDT, in Latest Science News


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NASA’s Kepler Enters Emergency Mode
  • Kepler Spacecraft faces Crisis far away from Home Planet

The NASA Kepler spacecraft currently faces a crisis situation far away from the home planet.

An emergency situation has been declared for the Kepler space mission. It seems to have gone haywire in space, far away from home. NASA got to know about this tragedy about 36 hours ago.

During a scheduled contact on Thursday, April 7, mission operations engineers discovered that the Kepler spacecraft was in Emergency Mode (EM). EM is the lowest operational mode and is fuel intensive," states NASA.

This was just before the spacecraft was pointed in the direction of the Milky Way. NASA’s deep space telecommunications system is being sought to put this situation right. It is right now at the lowest operational mode possible for the spacecraft.

The space mission is also running short on fuel economy. So something needs to be done. However, contact with this space mission is not an easy task.

That is because it is 75 million miles away from the earth. Even a communication signal, far less a probe, will take 13 minutes to reach the spacecraft.

This is so despite the fact that it will be traveling at the speed of light which is the maximum you can reach while remaining within the context of our universe. NASA will be keeping the public updated about the whole issue.

The Kepler spacecraft has suffered glitches in its machinery before. It was set on its journey into space in 2009 in search of new planets outside our own solar system.

By 2012, it had spotted some 5000 exoplanets. In July of 2012, it faced a malfunction. A second hitch was recorded in May 2013. Now with this latest issue which has just cropped up, it may well prove to be the final swan song of the spacecraft.

When such crises occur in spacecraft and probes a far away from the earth, NASA does what it can. However, for the most part its hands are tied since the object of interest is so far away that not much can be done to rectify the situation.

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