On August 15, the US Aeronautics Agency (NASA) announced it was unable to repair the space ship Kepler and it would not be able to continue hunting for planets outside the solar system.
>>>The world's largest telescope Kepler has a serious problem
According to the New York Times, the Kepler spacecraft failed the directional wheel since May. However, the Kepler telescope is still functioning perfectly. So NASA called on scientists to find ways to continue using this ship.
Astronomers say that at the moment, they will still analyze the huge data block that Kepler sent to Earth. Most recently, Kepler discovered 3,548 planets, some smaller than Earth. Other observations clearly identified 135 of them.
The illustration of the Kepler space ship in the universe - (Photo Safety: Space Safety Magazine)
But Kepler also found traces of hundreds of thousands of other planets. NASA expert William Borucki said the most interesting findings are still ahead.'In the next few years we will answer the question that led to Kepler's birth: Are Earth-like planets common in galaxies?' - Mr. Borucki said.
The Kelper was launched into orbit in March 2009 with the goal of observing about 150,000 stars to search for Earth-like planets. According to the original design, Kepler will operate for four years, but from last year NASA extended its operation until 2016.
So far, the Kepler project has cost about $ 600 million. Among the planets Kepler found the Tatooine planet, taking its name from a planet in Star wars (Star Wars ). It revolves around two different stars. In April, Kepler spotted two planets as small as half the Earth, revolving around a 1,200 light-year-old golden star from the solar system. Both planets are in the region that can allow the existence of life.
However two of Kepler's four directional wheels were broken. NASA astronomer Paul Hertz said NASA sent letters to astronomers asking them to find ideas to continue using Kepler. NASA may hold a workshop on this topic.