[ExI] Kepler's planet finding days might be over

Dan dan_ust at yahoo.com
Thu May 16 19:02:41 UTC 2013

On Thursday, May 16, 2013 9:40 AM spike <spike at rainier66.com> wrote:
>> Yeah, I should've read you second post before responding to your
>> first. The incident reported now is one wheel is not working,
>> but this was already after losing another. (The first one went
>> bad last July.)
> Ja I should have read the article before I commented.  I had
> heard they went into safe mode but I hadn’t heard it was the second
> wheel.  Momentum wheels shouldn’t fail.

Who should report those wheels to for failing? :) Kidding aside, though, they had an extra one because, no doubt, the expected failure. They just didn't expect this level of failure (but see my final paragraph below).

> Ball Aerospace is going to
> take a big hit over this, Goodrich is going to take a bigger hit for
> it, sheesh damn.

It might be too early to tell, but Ball's stock doesn't appear to be taking much of a hit. (How could one be sure, if their stock plummeted, that this was behind it?)

And didn't UT buy up Goodrich?

I believe, too, the probe was in its extended mission phase. Anyhow, maybe they'll fix the problem or find a workaround. I wonder how good the data are without the level of precision from three wheels. Anyhow, more planet-hunting missions on the way. Heck, if launch costs drop a lot (because of SpaceX and Orbital Sciences hacking away at big aerospace), maybe it'll be a golden age for space science.

 See my SF short story "Residue":
http://www.amazon.com/Residue-ebook/dp/B00BS3T0RM/ -- US
http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B00BS3T0RM -- UK
http://www.amazon.ca/dp/B00BS3T0RM -- Canada
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