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NASA Retires Kepler Telescope, the Most Prolific Planet Hunter of All Time
07 November 2018, 02:31 | Ross Houston
NASA's planet-hunting Kepler telescope retires after nine years exploring space
Before Kepler, we had discovered just a few hundred exoplanets, but the technology of the Kepler, allowed scientists to add more than 2,600 exoplanets to our databases.
"Being the first NASAmission specifically created to search for exoplanets, Kepler has exceeded all our expectations and paved the way for further research and the search for life in the Solar system and beyond".
"Not only did it show us how many planets could be out there, it sparked an entirely new and robust field of research that has taken the science community by storm", Zurbuchen said.
Kepler's findings have continually altered the way astronomers contemplate about planets in other solar systems.
According to NASA, that means they are located at distances from their stars where liquid water, a vital ingredient for life as we know it, could accumulate on the surface of the planet.
Kepler focused on the stars near the constellation Cygnus and found that small planets are common in the Milky Way Galaxy.
"Now that we know that planets are everywhere, Kepler has put us on a new path full of promise for future generations to explore our galaxy", said the veteran NASA researcher. The space agency has finally made a decision to decommission Kepler, which has run out of fuel and closed its telescopic eyes forever, while it is still orbiting safely away from Earth. The agency announced on October 30, 2018, that Kepler has run out of fuel and is being retired within its current and safe orbit, away from Earth.
These data are an inheritance of all humanity that will outlast the Kepler mission's brief life for time without limit. Four years into the mission, osbervations were halted by mechanical failures.
It is reported that the spacecraft Kepler has exhausted its fuel and can no longer perform scientific operations. The knowledge that there are planets scattered everywhere opens almost endless possibilities, and keeps pushing expectations for Kepler's successor TESS and other upcoming missions.
Looking forward, MAST is the home to the data from NASA's next great exoplanet hunting observatory, the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS). TESS will follow in the footsteps of NASA's pioneering Kepler Mission, continuing the groundbreaking ...
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