NASA officially retires Kepler

For many reasons, mostly political but partly ethical, I do not use Google, Facebook, Twitter. They practice corrupt business policies, while targeting conservative websites for censoring, facts repeatedly confirmed by news stories and by my sense that Facebook has taken action to prevent my readers from recommending Behind the Black to their friends.
Thus, I must have your direct support to keep this webpage alive. Not only does the money pay the bills, it gives me the freedom to speak honestly about science and culture, instead of being forced to write it as others demand.


Please consider donating by giving either a one-time contribution or a regular subscription, as outlined in the tip jar below.


Regular readers can support Behind The Black with a contribution via paypal:

Or with a subscription with regular donations from your Paypal or credit card account:

If Paypal doesn't work for you, you can support Behind The Black directly by sending your donation by check, payable to Robert Zimmerman, to
Behind The Black
c/o Robert Zimmerman
P.O.Box 1262
Cortaro, AZ 85652


You can also support me by buying one of my books, as noted in the boxes interspersed throughout the webpage. And if you buy the books through the ebookit links, I get a larger cut and I get it sooner.

NASA today officially retired Kepler after nine years of operations.

After nine years in deep space collecting data that indicate our sky to be filled with billions of hidden planets – more planets even than stars – NASA’s Kepler space telescope has run out of fuel needed for further science operations. NASA has decided to retire the spacecraft within its current, safe orbit, away from Earth. Kepler leaves a legacy of more than 2,600 planet discoveries from outside our solar system, many of which could be promising places for life.

Exoplanet hunting however does not end here. Unlike Hubble, astronomers and NASA planned ahead for Kepler’s demise, and this year launched TESS to continue its work, in an even more sophisticated manner.



  • pzatchok

    Even though it can not be moved to point at new stars couldn’t it be left on and downloading data until it just stops all on its own?

    If it has gyroscopes on it couldn’t those be used to reorient it slowly?

    Offer it up to private citizens or universities if they want to use it that way.

  • fred k

    I might add that the TESS + Kepler together cost one order of magnitude LESS than JWST.

  • Fred k


    Kepler is crippled. No fuel for stabilization, and only 1 gyro. So it will be (or is now) spinning without a way to control it.

    No control, means no meaningful data. Also, no way to point toward Earth for data download, AND, soon maybe no power because the solar panels aren’t oriented correctly.

  • pzatchok

    Thanks for the info Fred K

  • Col Beausabre

    Also, if it is spinning/tumbling,, it’s too dangerous for a putative rescue mission with fuel and new gyros to approach.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *