NASA’s planet hunting Kepler space telescope on Thursday goes into retirement after sending its final set of command to Earth before going disconnected with the space agency. Its retirement began from October 30, after NASA announced that the space telescope had run out of fuel and no longer continues to provide service. The space telescope was named after a German astronomer Johannes Kepler , who has also discovered the law of planetary motion. He died on November 15, 1630.
NASA said, "Through its survey, we've discovered there are more planets than stars in our galaxy. As a farewell to the spacecraft, we asked some of the people closest to Kepler to reflect on what Kepler has meant to them and its finding of more planets than stars’’.
Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics (LASP) was running spacecraft’s operations on behalf of NASA and Ball Aerospace and Technologies Corporation in Colorado.
Kepler was launched on March 6, 2009, was originally positioned to stare continuously at 150,000 at the sky in the constellation Cygnus. It was Kepler which discovered Earth-size planets in other solar system. And, in the nine-and-half years of service in space completing two missions, observed 530,506 stars, discovered 2662 planets, 61 supernovae and collected 678GB of science data.
Meanwhile, Kepler’s much-advanced successor Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS)was launched in April this year. TESS is launched to search planets outside our solar system which also supports Earth-like life. It will survey 200,000 of the brightest stars near the sun to search for transiting exoplanets.