Publicado: Mier, Noviembre 07, 2018
Ciencia | Por Aurelio Ontiveros

NASA Retires Kepler Space Telescope, Passes Planet-Hunting Torch

NASA Retires Kepler Space Telescope, Passes Planet-Hunting Torch

The US space agency's Kepler space telescope has run out of fuel and is being retired after nine and a half years, having helped discover more than 2,600 planets, some of which may hold life, officials said Tuesday.

Kepler's findings have continually altered the way astronomers contemplate about planets in other solar systems.

"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". Meaning it found more planets lurking out there than even stars.

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. 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 spacecraft, with a 1.4-meter diameter telescope, discovered almost 3000 exoplanets and many potential candidates that are still awaiting confirmation.

Kepler may no longer be for this world (or any other world), but the space telescope's discoveries will extend further beyond the end of its mission.

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Kepler became the most effective exoplanet hunter thanks to its powerful ability to keep a close watch on light emission patterns from thousands of stars in the Milky Way.

"The search for exoplanets using the Kepler data is still underway". 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. It explored an area of 150,000 stars in the Cygnus constellation. NASA has made a decision to retire the spacecraft within its current, safe orbit, away from Earth.

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.

"The Kepler mission was based on a very innovative design". The new mission was dubbed K2. NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, managed Kepler mission development.

In mid-November, a company called Rocket Lab will try to send six small satellites into orbit around Earth-a fairly banal undertaking, save for the size of the launch rocket.

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