NASA’s Kepler planet-hunter spacecraft remains stable as the process of returning it to science continues. The cause of the anomaly, first reported on 8 April, remains under investigation. Charlie Sobeck, Kepler and K2 mission manager at NASA’s Ames Research Center, explains the steps taken by mission operations engineers to resume the K2 mission.
In a global exoplanet observation experiment, NASA’s Kepler K2 mission and Earth-based observatories on six continents hope to survey millions of stars toward the centre of our Milky Way galaxy. Using a technique called gravitational microlensing, scientists will hunt for exoplanets that orbit far from their host star and for free-floating exoplanets that wander between the stars.