NASA's Kepler Space Telescope, which discovered thousands of planets outside our solar system and revealed that our galaxy contains more planets than stars, received its final set of commands to disconnect communications with Earth.
The "Good Night" commands finalize the transition from spacecraft to retirement, which began Oct. 30 with the agency's announcement that Kepler ran out of fuel and could no longer conduct science, the US space agency said in a statement. released on Friday.
Coincidentally, Kepler's "good night" falls on the same date as the 388-year anniversary of the death of his namesake, the German astronomer Johannes Kepler, who discovered the laws of planetary movement and died on November 15, 1630.
The Kepler Space Telescope has had a profound impact on our understanding of the number of worlds beyond our solar system.
"As a farewell of the spacecraft, we asked some of the people closest to Kepler to reflect on what Kepler meant to them and their discovery of planets than stars" , said NASA.
The spacecraft was drifting in a safe orbit around the sun, 94 million kilometers from Earth.
Launched on March 6, 2009, the Kepler telescope combined cutting-edge techniques in measuring stellar brightness with the largest digital camera equipped for observations of outer space at the time.
Originally positioned to continually glimpse for 150,000 stars in a star-studded patch of sky in the constellation Cygnus, Kepler made the first planet survey in our galaxy and became NASA's first mission to detect Earth-sized planets in habitable zones Of their stars. .
Kepler's most recent successor is the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS), which was launched in April this year.
TESS is based on Kepler's foundation with new batches of data in his search for planets orbiting about 200,000 of the brightest and closest stars on Earth.
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