Photon Pressure used for Positioning Kepler spacecraft

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Photon Pressure used for Positioning Kepler spacecraft

Post by Cr6 on Sun Dec 21, 2014 12:13 pm

Note they used "Photon" pressure as a "third wheel" for positioning Kepler.

What a comeback: Revived Kepler spacecraft finds its first new planet

Under its new K2 mission, NASA's revived Kepler spacecraft has discovered its first super-Earth exoplanet, scientists said. (NASA Ames/JPL-Caltech/T Pyle)

By Amina Khan  

But engineers at Ball Aerospace came up with a plan to use sunlight as the spacecraft’s virtual "third wheel" -- the pressure from the photons (light particles) hitting the spacecraft would help to hold it in place.

Using this method, Kepler can now scan the skies for a new mission, named K2. Instead of staring into a single patch of fairly uniform stars, the spacecraft will look at a variety of targets across the night sky, including stars, proto-stars, galaxy clusters and supernovae.


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