Mission News

Kepler Mission Manager Update
Jim Fanson by Jim Fanson, Kepler, JPL Project Manager

Flight controllers have transitioned Kepler out of its low-activity safe mode and have powered on its main instrument, the photometer. The spacecraft is in what is called "standby attitude" with the telescope pointed at the ecliptic North pole. Data will be collected from the photometer over the many hours it will take to stabilize the instrument at its operational temperature. The technical and programmatic reviews leading to dust-cover release are currently scheduled to be completed on Monday, April 6. Dust-cover release is scheduled to occur not earlier than Tuesday evening, April 7.