Kepler Has Problems

NASA Kepler Mission Update 17 January 2013

"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."

Keith's note: If a second reaction wheel fails, the mission is over.

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This page contains a single entry by Keith Cowing published on January 17, 2013 10:53 PM.

Why Does NASA Maintain Three (Four) Different MSL Websites? was the previous entry in this blog.

Clues Reveal More of Mars's Watery Past is the next entry in this blog.

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