NASA's Kepler Space Telescope mission has officially ended

NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine in a file image the US space agency's Kepler space telescope has run out of fuel and is being retired after nine years

NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine in a file image the US space agency's Kepler space telescope has run out of fuel and is being retired after nine years

"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".

NASA has made a decision to retire its Kepler space telescope that discovered more than 2,600 planets and ran out of fuel needed for further science operations.

Thanks to the spacecraft, scientists have learned that the Milky Way galaxy has more planets than stars.

When the agency first conceived of this mission 35 years ago, "we didn't know of a single planet outside our Solar System", according to founding principal investigator William Borucki, now retired from NASA's Ames Research Center. "Now we know because of the Kepler Space Telescope and its science mission that planets are more common than stars in our galaxy". During the near-decade of its life, Kepler found evidence of more than 2,600 planets located beyond our solar system.

Tess will mainly scout for planets in the Goldilocks zone of a star.

Mission scientists anxious that the spacecraft may have been irreparably rendered ineffective after the steering malfunction in 2012, though they eventually came up with an ingenious solution in 2013 using pressure generated by the sun's rays to compensate for a failed reaction wheel and aim it at observation targets.

"Because of fuel exhaustion, the Kepler spacecraft has reached the end of its service life", he said.

There's poetry in Kepler's ability to make us feel both small and also so connected to the rest of our universe.

Kepler used a detection method called transit photometry, which looked for periodic, repetitive dips in the visible light of stars caused by planets passing, or transiting, in front of them.

The spacecraft, which is now orbiting the sun 94 million miles (156 million kilometers) from Earth, will drift further from our planet when mission engineers turn off its radio transmitters, the United States space agency said.

US Restricts Exports to Chinese Semiconductor Firm Fujian Jinhua
The order marks the second USA action this year blocking technology exports to a Chinese buyer. The Commerce Department spokesman said the move was "based on the regulatory standard".

Oil prices down more than one percent on rising supply, trade war
Front-month Brent crude oil futures LCOc1 were at 77.96 dollars a barrel, up 35 cents, or 0.2 per cent, from their last close. Moreover, in a sign of things to come, hedge-fund and money managers are trimming their bets that crude oil prices will rise.

Pittsburgh synagogue suspect pleads not guilty
A police officer at the scene confirmed there had been no incidents even as the president was in the area mourning the victims. Ivanka Trump, Jared Kushner and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, who are Jewish, accompanied them to the synagogue .

Before retiring the spacecraft, scientists pushed Kepler to its full potential, successfully completing multiple observation campaigns and downloading valuable science data even after initial warnings of low fuel.

As of today, Kepler has detected 2,681 confirmed planets, plus 2,899 other candidates yet to be confirmed, said Kepler project scientist Jessie Dotson.

The successor of the telescope is far more powerful Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) which was launched in 2018 April a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket and is projected to discover over 20,000 new exoplanets.

Telescope Kepler was launched in 2009, its task is the search for exoplanets.

While Kepler was focusing on looking for planets around sun-like stars, TESS will advance its legacy by looking at smaller stars to find Earth-sized worlds out there in the universe.

Planetary exploration is going through a wider-ranging changing of the guard: For example, NASA's Dawn mission to the dwarf planet Ceres is ending, due to the same empty-tank issue that Kepler faced. "There were definitely challenges, but Kepler had an extremely talented team of scientists and engineers who overcame them".

NASA's Kepler mission has discovered a world where two suns set over the horizon instead of just one.

Four years into the mission, after the primary mission objectives had been met, some mechanical failures temporarily halted observations.

"The Kepler mission has paved the way for future exoplanet studying missions".

Recommended News

We are pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news.
Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper.
Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.