Thursday, May 2, 2013

NASA's Planet-Hunting Kepler Spacecraft Faces Serious Health Problems

NASA's Planet-Hunting Kepler Spacecraft Faces Serious Health Problems

Kepler has been an incredibly successful mission by pretty much any measure, researchers say.

The observatory has spotted more than 2,700 planet candidates to date. Just 122 of these worlds have been confirmed by follow-up observations so far, but mission scientists estimate that more than 90 percent will end up being the real deal.

The telescope has also outlasted its prime mission life of 3.5 years; it’s currently working on an extended mission that takes it through at least fiscal year 2016.