NASA Officially Announced The ‘Death’ Of The Kepler Space Telescope


"We know the spacecraft's retirement isn't the end of Kepler's discoveries", said Jessie Dotson, Kepler's project scientist at NASA's Ames Research Center.

Originally created to look for Earth-like planets in the habitable zone of stars like the sun, Kepler instead found a rich diversity of planets around many different types of stars. These data will enable new scientific discoveries for years to come. After completing its primary mission within four years, the spacecraft was repurposed to look at other stars near the zodiacal constellations. Before the mission, our knowledge of planets outside our solar system that orbit a star was woefully lacking. The most recent analysis of Kepler's discoveries concludes that 20 to 50 percent of the 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 their parent stars.

This image was spotted as part of Hubble mission to better understand how new stars are born. Kepler's readings have helped scientists study in depth the history of our Milky Way galaxy and the early stages of supernovae. However, all of Kepler's data has been and will continue to be publicly available at the Space Telescope Science Institute (STScI) through the Mikulski Archive for Space Telescopes (MAST) where it will continue to improve our understanding of the universe.

October 30 recorded 3,800 known exoplanets and Kepler was accountable for finding 2,720 of them.

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"We are announcing today that NASA's Kepler telescope, which is hunting for new planets, more than enough fuel". This will allow scientists to make new discoveries even if Kepler's mission has officially ended.

When the telescope was launched, it carried 12 liters of fuel for its engine, which was used to correct its drifts and control its orbit.

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. NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, managed Kepler mission development.

NASA's Dawn spacecraft has gone silent, ending a historic mission that studied time capsules from the solar system's earliest chapter.