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Kepler goes into safe mode as fuel runs low
Posted: Sun, Jul 8, 2018, 9:43 AM ET (1343 GMT)
Kepler spacecraft illustration (NASA/Ames) NASA's Kepler spacecraft has paused science observations upon receiving indications that the spacecraft may be finally running out of fuel after more than nine years of operations. The agency said Friday that it placed Kepler into a "no-fuel-use" safe mode four days earlier after detecting an anomalous drop in pressure in the spacecraft's hydrazine thrusters. Those thrusters are used to point the spacecraft after the failure of two of its four reaction control wheels earlier in the mission. Kepler will remain in this safe mode until August 2, when it will downlink data it collected during its latest campaign. Mission managers will then decide if the spacecraft can continue operations.
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