Mission News

Kepler Mission Manager Update
July 13, 2010

The project team recently completed another roll of the Kepler spacecraft and science data download. Accomplished over June 22-23, 2010, the operation was a complete success, as the roll placed Kepler in its summer attitude. With this download and quarterly roll, Kepler completed its fifth quarter of science data collection and has begun its sixth quarter of science data collection.

The Kepler flight segment continues to operate within nominal parameters. There have been no unplanned events since the recovery of the spacecraft from a Safe mode malfunction in February 2010. A flight software update, completed on the spacecraft in April 2010, continues to operate as designed.

Kepler mission data collected over the first 43 days of operations were made available at the Multi-Mission Archive at STScI (MAST: http://archive.stsci.edu) on June 15, 2010. Metrics indicate many downloads of the data have been made by multiple users since the data were made public.

The Kepler Asteroseismic Science Consortium is studying Kepler data for the purpose of understanding stellar structure and measuring the properties of exoplanet hosts through pulsation physics. The Consortium met in Aarhus, Denmark over June 14-18, 2010. The goal of the meeting was to present results from the analyses of Kepler asteroseismic data over the first three quarters of operation; allow members to discuss the exciting results now being provided regularly by the spacecraft; and plan future observations, target selection, data analysis and publications.

The conclusion from the meeting was that Kepler has allowed asteroseismology to take a giant leap forward in sensitivity and capacity, and this will be illustrated within a large body of scientific papers currently being planned and developed. Meanwhile, the Kepler science team is busy preparing scientific papers for publication about Kepler discoveries.