[ExI] Kepler's planet finding days might be over
spike at rainier66.com
Thu May 16 04:19:17 UTC 2013
Ooops I see it has lost a second wheel. Damn.
From: spike [mailto:spike at rainier66.com]
Sent: Wednesday, May 15, 2013 9:18 PM
To: 'Dan'; 'ExI chat list'
Subject: RE: [ExI] Kepler's planet finding days might be over
. Behalf Of Dan
Subject: [ExI] Kepler's planet finding days might be over
Kind of related to the Fermi Paradox discussion. Well, at least, planet
finders give us some baseline for the Drake equation -- some values to
plug-in (those with the other unknowns, what does this matter?) -- and an
idea of what's out there in terms of planets. And, of course, other missions
like COROT and terrestrial efforts still continue.
Dan don't count out Kepler. It has four completely independent reaction
wheels and it only needs three. One reaction wheel failed and the
spacecraft went into safe mode, which is what it automatically does when
anything goes wrong with the hardware. It powers down everything besides
the control system and sunbathes the solar panels until the ground
controllers can study the telemetry, figure out what happened and what to
The forces on reaction wheels are very small, so there is no reason to think
the remaining three cannot go on for years, and if we are very lucky,
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