NASA's Kepler telescope spends the last drop of fuel

NASA's Kepler telescope spends the last drop of fuel

Artistic vision of NASA's Kepler Space Telescope, identifying exoplanets

NASA officials report that the work of the Kepler space telescope, which is hunting other worlds, may be completed this month. This is due to the fact that it still continues to look stubbornly into the depth of space, although the fuel is rapidly approaching zero.

The management team has temporarily turned off the device and plans to wake him up on October 10 to receive a batch of data to Earth. However, it is difficult to say for sure whether this process will be successful. If so, they will turn the telescope back in time to get as much information as possible.

During 6 months the telescope slowly consumed the fuel stock. The spacecraft is not endowed with accurate calibration, so it is impossible to determine the most reliable indicators and the duration of its operation. This problem began in 2013, when one of the four wheels that controlled the telescope failed, and the device had to observe the same celestial area for 4 years. NASA has revived the mission as K2, which for several months has been watching one region in the sky and moving on to the next. Between the two missions, the tool was able to find more than 2,600 planets. Kepler measures the brightness of individual stars, looking for repetitive moments of dips when the planet passes in front of a star, blocking its glow. The receiver of Kepler was the satellite TESS, which has already found the first two candidate planets. It is believed that during the term of work, he will discover at least 10,000 alien worlds.

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