NASA Gives Up Fixing Planet-Hunting Telescope

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) — NASA is calling off all attempts to fix its crippled Kepler space telescope. But it’s not quite ready to call it quits on the robotic planet hunter.

Officials said Thursday they’re looking at what science might be salvaged by using the broken spacecraft as is.

The $600 million mission has been in trouble since May, unable to point with precision at faraway stars in its quest for other planets. That’s when a critical second wheel failed on the spacecraft. The first of four gyroscope wheels broke in 2012. At least three are needed for accurate pointing.

Since its launch in 2009, Kepler has confirmed 135 planets outside our solar system. And it’s identified more than 3,500 candidate planets.

Kepler’s unprecedented job was to track down other Earths.

(© Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

Comments

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

More From CBS Tampa

6 of the Best Ways to Spend Your Summer in Tampa BayTampa Bay is calling your name! Our beautiful area offers so much and this list is just a small segment of what Tampa Bay has in store for you this summer. Here are the best ways to spend your summer here in Tampa Bay.
Best Party Beaches Around Tampa BayIt's illegal to drink alcohol on most of Tampa Bay's beaches - unless you know about these next six locations.

Listen Live