As NASA's Kepler Mission Comes to an End, Planetary Research Moves Forward

Spacewatch: Nasa retires planet hunter after it runs out of fuel

NASA's planet-hunting Kepler telescope retires after nine years exploring space

"As NASA's first planet-hunting mission, Kepler has wildly exceeded all our expectations and paved the way for our exploration and search for life in the solar system and beyond", says NASA Science Mission Directorate's associate administrator, Thomas Zurbuchen.

The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (Nasa) has made a decision to retire the Kepler which discovered more than 2,600 planets. Scientists have said that Kepler telescope, which helps in discovering 2,600 planets, has finished fuel, so he is retiring.

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.

TESS builds on Kepler's foundation with fresh batches of data in its search of planets orbiting some 2,00,000 of the brightest and nearest stars to the Earth.

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

"The Kepler mission was based on a very innovative design". 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. But the mission team managed to devise a fix, switching the spacecraft's field of view roughly every three months.

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This image was spotted as part of Hubble mission to better understand how new stars are born. Herz noted that scientific work is a space Observatory is complete.

"When we started conceiving this mission 35 years ago, we didn't know of a single planet outside our solar system", said the Kepler mission's founding principal investigator, William Borucki.

The Mikulski Archive for Space Telescopes or MAST at the Space Telescope Science Institute will make the data accumulated over almost a decade of deep space observation available to the public. As for Kepler itself, it has far outlived its original four-year mission, and its passing is an opportunity to reflect on its success.

"If you only pick out the ones that are getting toward the end of their life then you can make a story, but if you look at the entire portfolio of spacecraft, I don't think we have a problem at all, I think we are in a golden age of NASA science", Hertz said. The James Webb Space Telescope (JWST), whose launch has been delayed to 2021, will be capable of studying the atmospheres of planets discovered by TESS and identifying their chemical compositions.

Both spacecraft used chemical fuel to twist themselves back toward Earth and beam their findings home; without that fuel there was no way to learn from our distant emissaries.

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