This Week @NASA - Kepler Troubles

This week, the Kepler science team announced the spacecraft was in a Thruster-Controlled Safe Mode. The root cause was undetermined but the proximate cause appears to be an attitude error caused by a malfunction in Kepler's reaction wheel 4, one of the telescope's pointing mechanisms.

The team has since put the telescope in what's known as a Point Rest State, to minimize fuel usage while the investigation continues. Though no decisions have been made about the fate of the mission, the team notes that even if data collection were to end, Kepler has collected substantial quantities of data that should yield a string of scientific discoveries for years to come. Also, Living Off Earth, Future of Human Space Exploration, Garver briefed on Future Technologies, J-2X prepared for gimbal tests, Bolden checks out Aero Tech, Dreamchaser's arrival, Hangout with Star Trek cast and more.

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