Subscribe free to our newsletters via your
. 24/7 Space News .

Crippled space telescope given second life, new mission
by Staff Writers
Greenbelt, Md. (UPI) Nov 28, 2013

disclaimer: image is for illustration purposes only

NASA says it has successfully revived its crippled Kepler Space Telescope and may give it a new mission of searching the skies.

In its new mission Kepler would resume its task of searching for other worlds, and would have new opportunities to observe star clusters, young and old stars, active galaxies and supernovae, the space agency reported.

In May, the second of Kepler's four gyroscope-like reaction wheels that operate to precisely point the spacecraft failed, ending new data collection for the original mission.

Without at least three operating reactions wheels the spacecraft can no longer precisely point at the mission's original field of view, scientists said -- and the culprit our own sun.

Photons that give Kepler electrical power by striking solar cells also push the spacecraft around, and without the wheels to counteract this solar pressure the spacecraft's pointing cannot be accurately controlled.

However, engineers have managed to recovering some of that pointing stability by reorienting the spacecraft so that the solar pressure is evenly distributed across its surfaces.

During testing of the new procedure, light collected from a distant star field produced an image quality within five percent of the primary mission's image parameters, the engineers said.

Additional testing is underway to demonstrate the ability to maintain this level of pointing control for days and weeks.

"This 'second light' image provides a successful first step in a process that may yet result in new observations and continued discoveries from the Kepler space telescope," said Charlie Sobeck, Kepler deputy project manager at NASA Ames Research Center in Moffett Field, Calif.


Related Links
Space Technology News - Applications and Research

Comment on this article via your Facebook, Yahoo, AOL, Hotmail login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle

Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily :: SpaceWar :: TerraDaily :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News

What might recyclable satellites look like?
Paris (ESA) Nov 26, 2013
No matter how painstakingly we choose the materials to build satellites, once a mission is over they are just so much junk. But what if one day they could be recycled in space for future missions - perhaps as construction material, fuel or even food? As part of its Clean Space initiative, ESA is looking for new ideas on materials that could be recycled or converted into different, useful r ... read more

Spotlight on China's Moon Rover

We're Going to the Moon!

NASA Spacecraft Begins Collecting Lunar Atmosphere Data

Big Boost for China's Moon Lander

Curiosity Resumes Science After Analysis of Voltage Issue

Winter Means Less Power for Solar Panels

Unusual greenhouse gases may have raised ancient Martian temperature

How Habitable Is Mars? A New View of the Viking Experiments

Orion Flight Test Hardware Thrives Under Pressure

International Space Station to enjoy Thanksgiving dinner

NASA Advances Effort to Launch Astronauts Again from US Soil to Space Station

Israeli experts launches space studies course for teachers

China names moon rover "Yutu"

China launches experimental satellite

China to send 'jade rabbit' to Moon: state media

"Gravity" director wants China to take him into space

ISS Benefits for Humanity in Plain Sight in New Video Feature

Russians take Olympic torch on historic spacewalk

Russia launches Sochi Olympic torch into space

Spaceflight Joins with NanoRacks to Deploy Satellites from the ISS

Second rocket launch site depends on satellite size, cost-benefit

Private US launch of satellite delayed

Stepping up Vega launcher production

Czech and XCOR Sign Payload Integrator Agreement for Suborbital Flights

Search for habitable planets should be more conservative

NASA Kepler Results Usher in a New Era of Astronomy

Astronomers answer key question: How common are habitable planets?

One in five Sun-like stars may have Earth-like planets

Crippled space telescope given second life, new mission

Scientists create perfect solution to iron out kinks in surfaces

What might recyclable satellites look like?

Overcoming Brittleness: New Insights into Bulk Metallic Glass

The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2014 - Space Media Network. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement