Mission News

Kepler Mission Manager Update
March 10, 2010

The Kepler project team successfully completed another science data download March 19-21, 2010. This download of data included science data collected since Feb. 5, 2010, following the Safe mode recovery that occurred in early February.

Kepler project engineers also completed a quarterly roll of the spacecraft during this contact. The roll of the spacecraft -- done once every three months -- keeps the spacecraft's solar arrays properly aligned toward the sun for optimal power generation. During the contact with the spacecraft, engineers also uploaded updated new target tables for Kepler's next observing quarter. The data downloaded during the contact is being processed through the Science Operations Center at NASA's Ames Research Center.

Meanwhile, Kepler project engineers are preparing for the next science data download, scheduled for April 21-23, 2010. The next monthly data download contact will be unique. This satellite commanding session will include an update to flight segment software, the first update for Kepler's onboard flight software since its launch on March 6, 2009. This upload will provide an update to star tracker and flight software interactions to help mitigate errors that might lead Safe mode events. The flight software update has been in development and test for a number of weeks, and is ready for flight operations.