The space agency said its Kepler spacecraft last week kicked into emergency mode. Long-distance efforts on Earth to fix it from nearly 75 million miles away had been slow, mission manager Charlie Sobeck said in a statement, but engineers successfully recovered it Sunday when it reached a stable state.
The space telescope was launched in 2009 to survey a portion of the Milky Way galaxy in search planets outside Earth’s solar system. Since then, Kepler has detected nearly 5,000 exoplanets orbiting stars beyond the Sun, as well as two supernovae, NASA says.
The spacecraft was in “good health” and operating well during NASA’s last regular contact with it on April 4, Sobeck said. An investigation is underway to determine what caused the disruption.