NASA gives up on fixing Kepler

NASA gives up on fixing Kepler

Space telescope’s days as a premier planet hunter are over

By Andrew Grant, 13:55 PM September 23, 2013

NASA’s planet-hunting Kepler space telescope, hobbled by the breakdown of two crucial parts, is beyond repair, officials announced in a teleconference August 15.

In May the Kepler team reported that two of the four reaction wheels used to turn the spacecraft toward its stellar targets had failed, leaving the telescope incapable of detecting the small dips in starlight that signify the existence of distant planets (SN Online: 5/15/13; SN: 6/15/13, p. 10). Last month engineers forced the faulty ...

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