The Kepler Space Telescope of NASA has finally run out of fuel, after having found thousands of planets. The agency made an announcement on Tuesday that the telescope’s mission has ended 94 million miles from Earth. In reality, the end for the deep space mission is not at all unexpected. The planet-hunting mission for the last nine years has discovered 2899 candidates of an exoplanet, out of which 2681 exploits have been confirmed in our galaxy. It only revealed that the solar system of ours is not just confined to the planets that exist.
The Kepler allowed astronomers to discover a particular aspect related to the stars. It helped astronomers make the discovery that around 20-50% of the stars, which we see in the night sky, likely contain small, rocky type, planets of the size of Earth. They all have habitable zones, which only mean that water can well be present on the surface. Hence, there is always a possibility that life can exist on all these planets. NASA has sent its final commands to the Space Telescope and they will ensure that space maintains a safe distance from Earth to avoid any kind of collision with the planet. The Associate Administrator of Science Mission Directorate in Washington, Thomas Zurbuchen said that Kepler has surpassed all their expectations. Hence, it has paved the path for their exploration as well as search for the existence of life not only in the Solar System but also beyond it.
NASA said that Kepler has given way to TESS right now. The first set of data from TESS has been sent to Earth and already analyzed. Later on, the intention is to carry out further studies with the help of the James Webb Space Telescope. This Telescope will take a closer look at the atmospheres and also go on to determine their habitability. A project scientist at the Ames Research Center of NASA, Jessie Dotson said that they realize, the retirement of the spacecraft does not bring the discoveries of Kepler to come to an end. He is even excited that a number of diverse discoveries are yet to come up from the kind of data they have at their disposal.
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