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Kepler Mission Manager Update

Published by Klaus Schmidt on Sat Mar 30, 2013 7:48 am via: NASA
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Since the last update the spacecraft continues to operate efficiently, returning high-quality science data. The team has now had a chance to examine the high rate data that was downlinked during the monthly contact on March 6-7, 2013. The wheel rest period of January 17-January 27 appears to have had no beneficial impact on alleviating the elevated friction in reaction wheel #4.

The high-rate data revealed additional transient friction, in the form of torque spikes, in RW4. The team is still analyzing these events to see if they may be due to the local space environment.

At this point, all mitigation steps to preserve wheel life have been implemented, and no additional steps are planned at this time. We will continue to monitor wheel performance and respond accordingly if conditions warrant.

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