Operating the Kepler Mission with University Students

Bill Possel, Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics, University of Colorado

The Kepler spacecraft, launched in 2009, has been one of NASA’s most scientifically successful missions.  From the first command to the spacecraft, students at the Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics (LASP) at University of Colorado in Boulder have been participating in Kepler’s mission operations.  Kepler has amazed the world with the discovery of numerous planets circling distant stars in our galaxy.  Yet Kepler has been one of the most challenging spacecraft to operate due to several on-orbit failures.  Despite these failures, Kepler continues to collect valuable astronomical data and provide a training ground for future space professionals.  


Bill Possel is the Director of Mission Operations and Data Systems at the Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics (LASP) at the University of Colorado at Boulder. He has over thirty years of experience in space system management, development, and operations with the Air Force, National Reconnaissance Office, and NASA. Prior to his appointment at LASP, he served in the Air Force, retiring at the rank of Colonel. During his Air Force career he managed numerous space system and launch vehicle programs and directed spacecraft operations at ground stations. His experience covers space systems from concept study through launch and on-orbit operations. Bill earned his commission following graduation from the University of Cincinnati in 1979. He holds a Bachelor of Science in physics and a Masters of Science in engineering physics from the Air Force Institute of Technology. He is also a graduate of the Air Force Air Command and Staff College and Air War College.
Bill Possel, LASP


Friday, August 18, 2017 - 13:45


Champagne Room