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Waspie_Dwarf

Kepler Mission Update

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Kepler Mission Manager Update: K2 spacecraft operation tests continue

Over the past two months the team has been busy working on a new mission concept, called K2, which would repurpose the Kepler space telescope.

On Jan. 30, in response to an invitation from NASA Headquarters, the Kepler team submitted a proposal to the 2014 Astrophysics Senior Review of Operating Missions to continue scientific observations with the Kepler spacecraft in this new two-wheel mode of operation. The team is very excited about the science opportunities the new K2 mission could enable. We continue to run demonstration tests to learn the nuances of operating the spacecraft, and progress has been good.

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The little spacecraft that could :tu:

It is arguable one of the most important spacecrafts ever, it would be a shame to retire it !

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It is arguable one of the most important spacecrafts ever

I think it is wrong to call ANY exploration mission, "one of the most important spacecrafts ever".

Is it more important the Hubble, or the Voyagers? What about Luna 3 that gave us the first view of the far side of the moon? What about Apollo 11 or Vostok 1 with Gagarin? Explorer 1 and the discovery of the Van Allen Belts? Giotto and the first view of a cometary nucleus? Hayabusa that brought back material from an asteroid or Stardust that brought us back material from a comet? The rovers on Mars that are showing us that Mars was once habitable?

The point is that our knowledge of the universe around us has increased hugely since the space age began. Mission after mission giving us new information and leading to new questions. New missions building on the knowledge gained by the old.

ALL of these missions are important and many MANY more that I haven,t mentioned. None should be singled out as more important than others because all have taught us something new.

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