NASA has announced that Kepler spacecraft has recovered from Emergency Mode (EM). Through the process, experts were able to rule out possible reasons why it switched to EM, albeit nothing is still certain.

On the morning of April 10, Kepler became stable, with its communication antenna pointing toward the Earth. This means that the Deep Space Network ground communications have returned to its usual schedule, enabling telemetry and allowing experts to download historical information from the ground.

At present, Kepler is in its lowest fuel-burn mode.

Why Kepler Switched To Emergency Mode

Kepler switched to EM about 14 hours before the scheduled move to orient the spacecraft toward the Milky Way Center for a mission called Campaign 9, which aims to perform microlensing observations.

Because of the said timing, NASA has excluded the maneuver and the reaction wheels as potential reasons why the spacecraft switched to EM.

"The anomalous EM event is the first that the Kepler spacecraft has encountered during its seven years in space," writes NASA.

Moving Forward

Experts will investigate more, while making it a priority to make the spacecraft return to science operations. They will comprehensively look into all board systems to guarantee its readiness for science operations, particularly for the Campaign 9.

Observatories on Earth participating in the Campaign 9 project will persist to monitor while experts continue their health check on Kepler. Observations for Campaign 9 will cease come July 1 because the center of the Milky Way will no longer be seen from the viewpoint of the spacecraft.

The last science campaign of K2 ended on March 23. Kepler was put on a Point Rest State (PRS) after information was downlinked to the ground. This means its antenna was pointing to Earth and the spacecraft was operating on fuel-efficient mode with resting reaction wheels.

Despite things gradually returning back to normal, mission operations at concerned NASA offices will stay alert.

NASA says the recovery of Kepler is a result of the agency engineers' prompt action and determination during the weekend. Officials appreciate their work tremendously, as well as the support shown by fans and followers across the world.

NASA also expresses gratitude to the Deep Space Network of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory and other missions that gave up their telemetry links so as to provide needed resources for Kepler's welfare.

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