NASA’s Kepler Space Telescope retires after 9 years of discovering planets

Spacewatch: Nasa retires planet hunter after it runs out of fuel

NASA's planet-hunting Kepler telescope retires after nine years exploring space

Learning the characteristics and personalities of the wide variety of planets requires that astronomers investigate the ones orbiting brighter and closer stars where more instruments and more telescopes can be brought to bear.Once launched, TESS will identify exoplanets orbiting the brightest stars just outside our solar system.(Graphic: NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center) Enter TESSNASA's Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite mission, led by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology's George Ricker, is searching for planets using the same detection technique that Kepler used.

This telescope is going to retire after 9 years of service.

These planets evolved at the commencement of the emergence of the Galaxy says astronomer William Borucki who was Kepler's chief examiner until he retired in 2015. After completing its primary mission within four years, the spacecraft was repurposed to look at other stars near the zodiacal constellations.

"The Kepler mission was based on a very innovative design".

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The most recent analysis of Kepler's findings concludes that between 20 and 50 percent of stars visible in the night sky are likely to have small, possibly rocky, planets similar in size to Earth and located within the habitable zone. of its stars.

The observation of so many stars has allowed scientists to better understand stellar behaviors and properties, which is critical information in studying the planets that orbit them. The data from the extended mission were also made available to the public and science community immediately, allowing discoveries to be made at an incredible pace and setting a high bar for other missions. By investigating a tiny slice of the sky, Kepler has detected light from many thousands of these stars in its view, and variations in the light received has been an indicator of planets. Kepler's demise was "not unexpected and this marks the end of spacecraft operations", said Paul Hertz, astrophysics division director at NASA, on a conference call with reporters.

Kepler's "death" is no surprise, as in 2013, mechanical problems precipitated the end of the Kepler Space Telescope's initial mission, which originally was meant to last three and a half years. "I'm excited about the diverse discoveries that are yet to come from our data and how future missions will build upon Kepler's results".

With Kepler retiring after an illustrious planet-hunting career, a new telescope will take its place. Kepler telescope had been running low on fuel for months. NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, managed Kepler mission development.

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