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Planet Hunters

  1. Kepler Mission Update: Wheels Are Spinning Like Whoa Up in There

    Hooray! Friction analysis for everybody!

    A little more than two months after the Kepler spacecraft's necessary minimum of wheels stopped spinning and died, NASA is now reporting some good news: While one of the wheels is still too damaged to move properly, the other wheel responded to test commands and spun in both directions. Hopefully it's only a matter of time before it's back up and running, ready to find more planets we might live on once we've sucked ours dry of resources.

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  2. NASA’s Planet-Hunting Kepler Spacecraft Damaged, in Safe Mode, But Not “Down and Out”

    NASA had a press conference earlier today where they announced that the planet-hunting Kepler spacecraft has gone into safe mode. It doesn't look great for the mission at the moment, because when engineers brought the craft back to normal mode they found one of its reaction wheels is dead. It's the second of the craft's four wheels to die, which is bad because it needs a minimum of three.

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  3. Planet Hunter Volunteers Discover 15 Potentially Habitable Planets, Still No Way to Get There

    Planet Hunters is a project that enlists the help of "citizen scientists" to help sort through the extensive data provided by NASA's Kepler mission. 15 new planets have been discovered by Planet Hunters that fall into the habitable, or "Goldilocks" zone, where the planet is at the right distance from a star to have liquid water. The discovery of the planets could mean there are many more of these worlds than initially thought, which is good news for anyone desperate to get off this planet just as soon as possible.

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  4. Amateur “Citizen Scientists” Discover a Planet with Four Suns

    May The Force Be With You

    Two suns? Pssht. That's for lameazoid sand planets like Tatooine. Recently discovered planet PH-1 (for the purposes of this article I will refer to it as "Tatooine Squared") has four suns—and, even better, it was discovered by amateur planet hunters.

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