Image: W. Stenzel / Globallookpress.com
Space telescope Kepler is designed to search for exoplanets, will stop working in the next few months due to the exhaustion of fuel. It is reported by NASA.
A team of researchers using the Observatory to observe planetary systems, plans to gather as much scientific data before the motors of the apparatus will cease to function. After that, the telescope will not be able to reorient to establish contact with the Ground.
The exact time of full consumption of fuel is difficult to predict, since Kepler there are no sensors monitoring the level of fuel in the tanks. Instead, the researchers monitor the pressure drop in them and the change in the characteristics of the engine. It gives only a probabilistic estimation of time of operation of the telescope.
Orbital telescope “Kepler” was launched in 2009. In 2013, one of the motors of the telescope failed, resulting in lost capacity for the precise orientation of the tool in space. However, the telescope continues to be used in the framework of the K2 mission, aimed at observing the stars in the Ecliptic plane. With the help of “Kepler” was discovered more than three thousand exoplanets.
Video, photo All from Russia.