Kepler returned to service !

After returning Kepler to normal mode NASA decided to resume Campaign 9 which start was scheduled for April 2016.

Kepler is now continuing its K2 mission flying with speed of 5982 km/s and 120 million kilometers from Earth. On April 22, 2016, NASA announced about resuming Campaign 9 which is devoted to research on parallax effect and will last for 75 days. It will be finished on 1st July when Kepler will change its vantage point.

NASA's Ames Research Center, with cooperation Ball Aerospace and Atmospheric and Space Physics (LASP) at the University of Colorado managed to recover Kepler from Emergency Mode which in it remained probably since April 5, 2016. After successful exiting from EM and switching to Point Rest State (PRS) on April 11, 2016, mission of the spacecraft was temporarily suspended and Kepler was under continuous observation. After one week of monitoring spacecraft no further problems were spotted and NASA finally decided to prepare resuming mission. Turning on onboard instruments went without any surprises, but to avoid switching to EM for the next time NASA transmitted to Kepler new command sequence which will start if Kepler will start switching into EM. On Tuesday, April 19, 2016, NASA started to prepare spacecraft for continuing mission. New pointing tables, science targets were transmitted, onboard logs and counters were reset. On April 21, 2016 during NASA's Deep Space Network (DSN) specialists from Ball Aerospace and LASP transmitted next commands to Kepler. They were necessary for correcting position of the Kepler with telescope lens towards to center of the Milky Way and solar batteries pointed to the sun. On April 22, 2016 at 15:30 Kepler returned to service. For next weeks it will perform observation of Milky Way which, along with ground-based astronomical observatories, is part of research on parallax effect. On 24th May, 2016, short break is planned, to transmit data from observations to Earth. Spacecraft will still transmit data on its condition with DSN; large antennas with 70 m diameter will serve for receiving data on current state of Kepler, while smaller antennas (which are combined in antenna arrays) will receive signals indicating if Kepler will change its mode again.

Sources:
http://www.nasa.gov/feature/ames/kepler/mission-manager-update-kepler-recovered-and-returned-to-the-k2-mission

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