NASA has officially retired its planet-hunting space telescope which discovered more than 2,600 exoplanets during nine years of operation.
The Spacecraft was confirmed to have run out of fuel.
NASA’s planet-hunting space telescope Kepler has reportedly stopped functioning in orbit after having served for nine years, allowing scientists to understand the incredible amount of planet’s that exist elsewhere in the cosmos.
The ‘end of Kepler’ was revealed by the space agency in a teleconference after the veteran craft put itself into ‘sleep mode’ in October of 2018.
After weeks of uncertainty, NASA has officially confirmed that the spacecraft has run out of fuel, and cannot continue operating.
The spacecraft is located in a safe orbit around Earth, according to NASA.
The Kepler space telescope was launched in 2009, and during nine years orbiting Earth, it opened our eyes to the universe that’s out there, exceeding al scientific expectations.
In fact, before Kepler, we had never found a planet outside our solar system. Kepler was the first space telescope to survey the planets in the Milky Way Galaxy, and over nine successful years of observations, it proved the galaxy is teeming with planets, many of which could be targets in the search for alien life.
“As NASA’s first planet-hunting mission, Kepler has wildly exceeded all our expectations and paved the way for our exploration and search for life in the solar system and beyond,” said Thomas Zurbuchen, associate administrator of NASA’s Science Mission Directorate in Washington.