Take Two

News and culture through the lens of Southern California. Hosted by Alex Cohen & A Martínez

NASA's Kepler planet-hunting spacecraft in jeopardy

by Take Two

60639 full
The diagram compares the planets of the inner solar system to Kepler-69, a two-planet system about 2,700 light-years from Earth in the constellation Cygnus. The two planets of Kepler-69 orbit a star that belongs to the same class as our sun, called G-type. NASA/JPL

Space. The final frontier. These are the voyages of NASA's Spacecraft Kepler. Its four-year mission is to explore strange new worlds, and pretty much the rest of that famous "Star Trek" intro line. But on this week of the big opening of the new movie, there is sadness in actual space science.

The Kepler spacecraft — a giant telescope launched in 2009 — is malfunctioning and may be at the end of its journey.

Charlie Sobeck is the deputy project manager for Kepler at Ames Research Center in Northern California joins the show to explain what's going wrong and what it means for NASA's quest to discover alien planets. 

blog comments powered by Disqus

Enjoy Take Two? Try KPCC’s other programs.

What's popular now on KPCC