According to the New York Times and the twitter rumour mill, NASA’s exoplanet hunting space craft, Kepler is having some major problems.
An issue with the observatory’s “reaction wheels” which move and point the spacecraft.
Kepler was launched in 2009 to search for planets outside of our solar system. The obervatory watches for dips in light coming from stars in the constellations of Cygnus and Lyra that could indicate possible planets.
So far it has found 115 confirmed planets and has created a list of 2,740 possible others.
The spacecraft was supposed to keep functioning until 2016, but the wheel failure may cut the mission short. NASA is holding a press conference at 4:00 PM EST on the spacecraft’s issues.
The spacecraft’s most recent contribution was the discovery of two new planetary systems, each which contain planets that circle sun-like stars and within a distance of that start that would allow the planet to support liquid water.
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