Mountain View

NASA Scientists Investigate Kepler Space Telescope's ‘Emergency Mode,' Recovery

NASA’s Kepler Space Telescope went rogue over the weekend before righting itself.

The spacecraft lost its way for a while and even phoned home for help, leaving NASA officials scrambling for answers.

The famous planet-hunting telescope, which launched in 2009, went into what NASA calls "emergency mode,” going into a sort of hibernation and shutting down to preserve its engines.

Engineers, some of whom work at NASA-Ames in Mountain View, are now trying to figure out exactly what happened to force Kepler to burn more of its fuel than hoped.

“First we have to get control of the spacecraft … then we'll start to think about when we'll get back to collecting science,” Dr. Charles Sobeck said.

Kepler is given credit for discovering nearly 5,000 planets. It operates about 75 million miles away from Earth.

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