Executive Intelligence Review

FROM EIR DAILY ALERT


Kepler Spacecraft Mission Leaves a Legacy to Humanity

Nov. 4, 2018 (EIRNS)—NASA announced on Oct. 30 that after nine years of service, the Kepler spacecraft is finally out of fuel and is being decommissioned over the next several weeks. The Digital Trends website has published a brief article on the vast legacy it has left behind.

Kepler was launched in 2009 and was expected to continue transmissions from the largest digital space camera then in use for three and a half years. After four years, a mechanical problem shut the project down, but NASA scientists determined that by periodically changing the camera’s field of view they could get it back to work. That kept things going for another five years, but Kepler’s work is now complete.

Digital Trends points out, however, that its fruits continue to serve humanity’s quest for knowledge of the universe. Kepler discovered over 2,600 planets outside our Solar System. All of the data being collected are publicly accessible and can be downloaded from the Barbara A. Mikulski Archive. Kepler’s data have provided insight into the nature and behavior of these exoplanets, as well as the history of our Milky Way galaxy and its stars.

These data are an inheritance of all humanity that will outlast the Kepler mission’s brief life for time without limit.

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