Spaceflight Insider

News Archive / Tagged: K2 Mission

  • Era ends as Kepler planet hunting satellite runs out of fuel

    Joe LatrellMarch 26th, 2018

    With fuel tanks low and no gas gauge, the Kepler spacecraft is in the final months of operations. The planet hunting satellite was launched in March 2009 and had a planned mission duration was 3.5 years, but the spacecraft has exceeded all expectations and continues to function.

  • NASA’s Kepler provides new data on TRAPPIST-1

    Jim SharkeyMarch 11th, 2017

    Last month, researchers announced that TRAPPIST-1, an ultra-cool dwarf star approximately 40 light-years from Earth, hosts seven planets that are probably rocky, including three in the habitable zone. On Wednesday, March 8, NASA released new data from Kepler's investigations of the dwarf star to the scientific community.

  • Five new planets orbiting a distant bright star discovered by NASA’s Kepler spacecraft

    Tomasz NowakowskiJuly 12th, 2016

    A team of astronomers using the Kepler space telescope has recently detected five new exoplanets circling a bright star designated HIP 41378, which lies some 380 light-years away. The newly found alien worlds are larger than our planet, with sizes ranging from about 2.5 times the size of Earth to the size of Jupiter.

  • Kepler space telescope recovered from Emergency Mode

    Derek RichardsonApril 13th, 2016

    Mission operators successfully recovered NASA's Kepler space telescope from an Emergency Mode (EM) over the weekend. The spacecraft is currently in stable condition.

  • K2 mission gives Kepler space telescope a second chance to shine

    Jim SharkeyMarch 11th, 2016

    In May 2013, the prognosis looked grim for NASA's Kepler space telescope after the loss of an attitude stabilizing reaction wheel. Improvisation by engineers at Ball Aerospace devised a strategy to keep the space telescope stable using the pressure of sunlight. In late August 2013, the small group of engineers waited nervously for telemetry data to confirm that the technique could work.

  • Kepler’s second light: K2 mission discovers its first exoplanet

    SpaceFlight InsiderDecember 29th, 2014

    After some creative engineering and a collaboration between astronomers and engineers, NASA’s Kepler telescope was able to make a comeback after being crippled by a reaction wheel failure. The new technique takes advantage of solar winds and revived the planet-hunting telescope, enabling it to take on a new mission, dubbed K2. On Dec. 18, 2014, […]