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Planet-hunting Kepler spacecraft in trouble

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posted on May, 15 2013 @ 03:47 PM
Bad news for space buffs, NASA is saying that one of the three reaction wheels needed to orient the planet hunting kepler spacecraft had stopped spinning.

It says it has gone into safe mode and aimed itself back at Earth,

Thsi thing has been spotting planets left and right and has discovered 132 since 2009

I hope they get it working again because it was pretty exciting hearing about all these new planets

The future of NASA's planet-hunting Kepler space observatory was in question Wednesday after a part that helps aim the spacecraft failed, the U.S. space agency said

edit on 15-5-2013 by goou111 because: (no reason given)

Maybe aliens sabotaged it because we were to close

edit on 15-5-2013 by goou111 because: (no reason given)

posted on May, 15 2013 @ 03:51 PM
That's too bad, this satt has contributed greatly to science (and imagination.)
Grab the WD 40 and get up there!
(wish it was that easy...
Fingers crossed that it fixes itself..

The Kepler observatory is "specifically designed to survey a portion of our region of the Milky Way galaxy to discover dozens of Earth-size planets in or near the habitable zone and determine how many of the billions of stars in our galaxy have such planets".[7] A photometer continually monitors the brightness of over 145,000 main sequence stars in a fixed field of view.[8] This data is transmitted to Earth, then analyzed to detect periodic dimming caused by extrasolar planets that cross in front of their host star.
edit on 15-5-2013 by canucks555 because: (no reason given)

posted on May, 15 2013 @ 04:02 PM
Now here's a bit of good news if Kep is finished.. Four years away. Actually not too bad as far as NASA timetables go.

Kepler 2.0: Next-Gen Exoplanet Hunter Approved

NASA has selected a $200 million mission to carry out a full-sky survey for exoplanets orbiting nearby stars. The space observatory, called the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS), is scheduled for a 2017 launch. Like the currently operational Kepler Space Telescope, TESS will be in the lookout for exoplanets that orbit in front of their host stars, resulting in a slight dip in starlight. This dip is known as a “transit” and Kepler has revolutionized our understanding about planets orbiting other stars in our galaxy by applying this effective technique. As of January 2013, Kepler has spotted 2,740 exoplanetary candidates.

edit on 15-5-2013 by canucks555 because: (no reason given)

posted on May, 15 2013 @ 04:11 PM
I heard an interview from a NASA official about a month ago on this subject. He said, once the wheels fail, there is nothing they can do about it and must be fixed physical ( manned mission). So for now, its flying space junk.

posted on May, 15 2013 @ 05:56 PM
reply to post by canucks555

Yes, Kepler Two coming down the pike, and maybe now, with this sad news, they can speed it up a little. Hopefully they're putting it together with good parts, and not using the lowest-bidders!
edit on 15-5-2013 by Aleister because: (no reason given)

posted on May, 16 2013 @ 08:21 AM
Even if it cannot orientate itself, it is
still able to send data to earth, correct?

So they are not shutting it down and that
makes it not spacejunk just yet.

Anyway, too bad it's not functioning as it

posted on May, 16 2013 @ 09:49 AM
reply to post by camaro68ss

THen why don't they just send one up to fix it?

posted on May, 16 2013 @ 10:05 AM
reply to post by goou111

Sounds to me like Nasa found something interesting and they want to hide it by saying there are issues with the Kepler!

With this spacecraft finding all kinds of new planets recently, it sounds like they found their target!! Now it's time to get a manned mission planned to the speculated target planet with life forms or habitable like Earth....

Just me thinking out loud here

posted on May, 16 2013 @ 12:56 PM
reply to post by Chrisfishenstein

Well this is the last discovery I remember

Astronomers discover Earth-like planets believed to have oceans
Two water worlds, planets apparently covered completely by oceans, are within their star's "habitable zone" and represent the most exciting discovery yet by the planet-hunting Kepler telescope, NASA announced Thursday

They say there may be life but any life would be underwater life and the planets would be beautiful blue worlds orbiting an orange star exciting
nasa live video at the link

These planets are unlike anything in our solar system. They have endless oceans," said lead author Lisa Kaltenegger of the Max Planck Institute for Astronomy and the CfA. "There may be life there, but could it be technology-based like ours? Life on these worlds would be under water with no easy access to metals, to electricity, or fire for metallurgy. Nonetheless, these worlds will still be beautiful blue planets circling an orange star -- and maybe life's inventiveness to get

cnn is saying 3 planets

3 new planets could host life

Scientists announced Thursday the discovery of three planets that are some of the best candidates so far for habitable worlds outside our own solar system -- and they're very far away.

NASA's Kepler satellite, which is keeping an eye on more than 150,000 stars in hopes of identifying Earth-like planets, found the trio.

Two of the planets -- Kepler-62e and Kepler-62f -- are described in a study released Thursday in the journal, Science. They are part of a five-planet system in which the candidates for life are the farthest from the host star.

The host star -- the equivalent of Earth's sun -- takes the name Kepler-62, where the individual planets are designated by letters thereafter.

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