Kepler Space Telescope Hit by Cosmic Ray

IAS Prelims 2023

NASA’s planet-hunting Kepler space telescope was hit by a cosmic ray event during a recent campaign to observe TRAPPIST-1.

TRAPPIST-1 is a star system that hosts at least seven Earth-sized planets only 40 light-years away.

During Campaign 12, a cosmic ray event reset the spacecraft’s on-board software causing a five-day break in science data collection.

The benign event is the fourth occurrence of cosmic ray susceptibility since launch in March 2009.

Kepler is a space observatory launched by NASA to discover Earth-size planets orbiting other stars. Named after astronomer Johannes Kepler, the spacecraft was launched on March 7, 2009, into an Earth-trailing heliocentric orbit.