Kepler Space Telescope Died After More Than 9 Years of Observations

This illustration made available by NASA shows the Kepler Space

After nine years of gathering valuable space data for NASA, the Kepler Space Telescope is now officially retiring from service.

Launched on March 6 in 2009, the Kepler space telescope combined cutting-edge techniques in measuring stellar brightness with the largest digital camera outfitted for outer space observations at that time, reported Xinhua.

In a statement, NASA said data collected from Kepler's deep space missions indicates our sky is filled with billions of hidden planets - more than the stars.

"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 continued. "Its discoveries have shed a new light on our place in the universe, and illuminated the tantalizing mysteries and possibilities among the stars". NASA realized Kepler was running out of fuel earlier this summer and chose to officially retire it.

The nine-year planet-hunting mission discovered 2,899 exoplanet candidates and 2,681 confirmed exoplanets in our galaxy, revealing that our solar system isn't the only home for planets.

Earlier this year, NASA launched the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS), so it won't run out of options to search for new planets. And in 2017 "Kepler" found "assosolare system" of the eight planets just like ours (after Pluto was demoted and transferred to the category of dwarf planets). Kepler worked more than twice as long as expected, revolutionizing scientific understanding of planetary system formation along the way.

Nearly lost in 2013 because of equipment failure, Kepler was salvaged by engineers and kept peering into the cosmos, thick with stars and galaxies, ever on the lookout for dips in in the brightness of stars that could indicate an orbiting planet.

Many of these planets, he said, may be just warm enough that they could have liquid water on their surface, "a situation conducive to the existence of life".

The planet-hunting spacecraft, credited with discovering thousands of exoplanets, or planets beyond our solar system, will be retired and left in its current orbit, a safe distance from Earth, NASA announced Tuesday. "Kepler opened the gate for the exploration of the cosmos". It is an effort that will define the next half-century of Nasa science, as a new generation of spacecraft and instruments searches for signs of life on the ocean worlds orbiting Jupiter and Saturn, in the sands of Mars and on the rocky worlds that are now known to orbit nearby suns.

NASA has experienced a series of spacecraft problems lately. During its time, it discovered 2,600 planets.

Later, these planets - and those found by Kepler - can be studied by the James Webb Space Telescope, which will be able to look closer at the atmospheres and possibly determine their habitability.

Originally positioned to stare continuously at 150,000 stars in one star-studded patch of the sky in the constellation Cygnus, the telescope took the first survey of planets in the Milky Way and became NASA's first mission to detect Earth-size planets in the habitable zones of their stars. "These results will form the basis for future searches for life".



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