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NASA Shuts down the Prolific Planet-Hunt Space Telescope

The most accomplished planet jumper from time to time will not seek out new art worlds anymore. NASA settled the…

The most accomplished planet jumper from time to time will not seek out new art worlds anymore.

NASA settled the Kepler Space Telescope last night (Nov. 15) and beamed “good night” commands to the sunrise observatory.

This official end is not surprising. NASA announced on October 30 that Kepler’s scientific work was done, because the spacecraft had completed fuel. Mission members then said that settlement orders were likely to be sent within a few weeks. [Kepler’s 7 Greatest Exoplanet Discoveries]

“Kepler’s team disabled security modes that could accidentally put systems on and cancel communication by shutting down the transmitters,” NASA officials said in a statement today (November 1

6). “Because the spacecraft slowly rotates, the Kepler team must carefully keep the commandments so that the instructions would reach the spacecraft during periods of viable communication.”

An artist’s illustration of NASA’s Kepler space telescope, which is of fuel. Kepler team members radiated a “good night” settlement to the Observatory on November 15, 2018.

Credit: NASA

The final commands were sent from Kepler’s Operations Center at the University of Colorado Boulder’s Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics, Said NASA officials. The commands came to spacecraft through NASA’s Deep Space Network, the system of large radio compartments used by the space agency to keep in touch with their remote probes.

The $ 700 million Kepler Mission was launched in March 2009, aiming to determine how common Earthlike planets are in the road. Spacecraft found the alien world through the “transit method” and noted the small dips in the brightness that were caused when the planet crossed its host star’s faces.

Kepler first made this work by staring at more than 150,000 stars at the same time. Then, the second space ship’s four orientation-based reaction wheels 2013 failed, which ended the original mission. Kepler has transitioned to a new mission called K2 2014, after team members have decided to stabilize the observatory using solar beam pressure.

Kepler has so far discovered 2,682 exoplanets, 355 of which were found during the K2 phase. The total amount represents about 70 percent of all known foreign worlds. And there will be more Kepler discoveries: Nearly 2900 “candidates” discovered during the original mission and K2 waits for confirmation of follow-up observations or analyzes, and the story suggests that most of these will be the real deal.

Kepler can not be uploaded and returned to action. The spacecraft circles the sun, not the Earth, and is currently about 94 million miles (151 million miles) from our planet.

Mike Wall’s book about the search for alien life, “ Out There ” (Grand Central Publishing, 2018, illustrated by Karl Tate ) is out now. Follow him on Twitter @michaeldwall . Follow us @Spacedotcom or Facebook . Originally published on Space.com .

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