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.Read More
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.Read More
We've already spotted more than 800 exoplanets beyond our Solar System, and more than a hundred of these were identified by NASA's Kepler mission in the four years since its launch merely by observing one small swath of sky. But now NASA has its sights on even more worlds with the newly green-lit Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS), a spacecraft set to launch in 2017. Hit the jump to find out what makes this one so different.Read More