The end of Kepler is alarming for the horizon. As its fuel reserves are almost empty, On Monday, July 9, NASA has decided to bring its space telescope into hibernation. Kepler will not be working by the end of the year. This skilled craft has discovered thousands of exoplanets since it was sent in 2009 but now it is towards the disappearance phase of its lifespan. After nine years of tracking down on behalf of humanity and science, the space telescope has reached the end of its fuel reserves.
NASAannouncedon Friday that Kepler staff had “received an indication that the spacecraft fuel tank is running very low” and “placed the spacecraft in a hibernation-like state in preparation to download the science data collected in its latest observation campaign.”
The goal is not to use the little gasoline that has left inside it until the beginning of August. By then the US space agency will probably wake up the telescope to direct its antenna to Earth and start downloading the data gathered by Kepler throughout his last mission.
Once the assortment will be completed, NASA will launch, based on fuel reserves, the 19th, and ultimate telescope observation mission. Since its commissioning on March 7, 2009, Kepler has enabled scientists to discover 2649 extrasolar planets. And their task is not over since so many planets spotted by the telescope are coming up to witness their existence.
NASA is unable to examine how much exactly the amount of fuel is left inside Kepler, as there is not gas measurement on-board. Though it is in deep space rambling the Earth’s orbit at approximately 94 million miles away, and there are no chances of it striking with another potentially life-bearing exorbitant body like an icy moon, the agency will keep on working on the spaceship until it gives up and dies.
Kepler will be able to take a hard-earned rest. Particularly since its successor, the Transiting Exoplanet Satellite Survey (TESS) has been in space since April 16. This new telescope has a field of vision 400 times higher than that of Kepler and has already got to work since it delivered its first photo of the space last May.