LightSail-A has successfully launched!

Track the Mission

Help Shape the Future of Space Exploration

Join The Planetary Society Now  arrow.png

Join our eNewsletter for updates & action alerts

    Please leave this field empty
Blogs

Headshot of Emily Lakdawalla

Kepler's removed the lens cap

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla

08-04-2009 12:54 CDT

Topics:

Since launch, Kepler's enormous photometer instrument, backed by a 42-Megapixel CCD (the largest such device ever sent to space by NASA), has been protected behind a truly gargantuan lens cap. The mission announced late yesterday that the lens cap (more correctly, "dust cover") was successfully ejected, first tipping to one side on a "flyaway hinge" and then springing off into space. Now the photometer can start collecting starlight. The release states they still have a few weeks of calibration work to do before science data gathering can begin.

Kepler ejects its dust cover

NASA / Ames / JPL-Caltech

Kepler ejects its dust cover
On April 7, Kepler ejected the 1.7 - by - 1.3 - meter cover that had protected its sensitive photometer from dust since launch. With the cover removed, it could start collecting starlight. Download a high-resolution version of this animation here.
The latest project manager's update says that Kepler has now drifted more than three million kilometers behind Earth in its trailing orbit, which puts it at about eight times farther away from Earth than the Moon is.

 
See other posts from April 2009

 

Or read more blog entries about:

Comments:

Leave a Comment:

You must be logged in to submit a comment. Log in now.
Facebook Twitter Email RSS AddThis

Blog Search

LightSail - Kickstarter

Support LightSail!

The excitement is building! LightSail is counting down to our test launch, set for May 20—and you’re invited.

I want to help!

Featured Images

51 views of Ceres, Dawn Rotation Characterization 3, May 4, 2015
Crescent Ceres, April 30, 2015
Ceres' full rotation, Dawn Rotation Characterization 3, May 4, 2015
Morrell Operations Center
More Images

Featured Video

Solar Sailing

Watch Now

Selfies to Space!

Take flight with a selfie on LightSail™ in 2016!

Send a Selfie Now

Join the New Millennium Committee

Let’s invent the future together!

Become a Member

Connect With Us

Facebook! Twitter! Google+ and more…
Continue the conversation with our online community!