Kepler Spacecraft Mission Leaves a Legacy to Humanity

NASA  Ames  Wendy Stenzel

While spacecraft operations have ceased, its data will continue to be publicly available through the Mikulski Archive for Space Telescopes (MAST) at the Space Telescope Science Institute.

The founder of the Kepler mission, William Borucki, recalled that when this idea was conceived 35 years ago, humanity "did not know of a single planet" outside the solar system. After completing its primary mission within four years, the spacecraft was repurposed to look at other stars near the zodiacal constellations. Kepler most recently revealed that 20 to 50 percent of the stars the naked eye can see after dark could be orbited by small, rocky planets not unlike our own. The fixes actually extended the life of the spacecraft, and allowed Kepler to survey more than 500,000 stars.

But the mission was not without its hiccups - in 2013, mechanical failures stopped Kepler's observations.

Aside from searching for distant exoplanets, K2 allowed scientists to observe other objects and phenomena within the galaxy, including stellar clusters and supernovas. Scientists have said that Kepler telescope, which helps in discovering 2,600 planets, has finished fuel, so he is retiring.

"The search for exoplanets using the Kepler data is still underway".

The Kepler Space Telescope mission of NASA's planetary exploration of American Space Agency has ended.

"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".

The MAST will also host the data that will be collected by NASA's next great space observatory and Kepler's successor, Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite or TESS.

NASA's elite planet-hunting spacecraft has been declared dead, just a few months shy of its 10th anniversary. NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, managed Kepler mission development.

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. In the years since, astronomers have used Kepler observations to discover 2,818 exoplanets as well as another 2,679 exoplanet ...

A super-computer at the International Space Station aims to bring "cloud" computing to astronauts in space and speed up their ability to run data analysis in orbit, Hewlett-Packard Enterprise said Thursday.

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