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Wheels Come Off Planet-Hunting Telescope

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MOFFETT FIELD, Calif., May 20, 2013 — The wheels have literally come off the Kepler space telescope, NASA’s primary instrument for detecting planets beyond our solar system. Last week's malfunction leaves just two of the four stability-controlling wheels operational, jeopardizing the sun-orbiting spacecraft's continued mission. Since its launch in 2009, the telescope has discovered more than 2700 candidate exoplanets orbiting distant stars, including several Earth-sized planets that are within their star’s habitable zone. (See: Space Telescope Finds 3 Super Earths) Two wheels that helps guide the Kepler...Read full article

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