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NASA Science

NASA's Kepler Mission Extended For Two Years 58

Posted by samzenpus
from the keep-it-going dept.
An anonymous reader writes "A report just released from NASA's senior review panel recommends extending the Kepler mission(Pdf), initially for two years. 'Kepler is not only a unique source of exoplanet discoveries, but also an organizing and rallying point for exo-planet research. It has enabled remarkable stellar science." The scaled-down budget for the extended mission was broadly expected to include funding only for continued operations and management, with no funding for science. Astronomers have already started seeking private funding to continue their Kepler-related work, through crowd-funding websites like PetriDish and FundaGeek, as well as through the non-profit Pale Blue Dot project."
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NASA's Kepler Mission Extended For Two Years

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  • Wonderful (Score:5, Insightful)

    by MyLongNickName (822545) on Tuesday April 03, 2012 @07:57PM (#39567087) Journal

    This is awesome! The longer Kepler is up, the more chance it has of finding Earth-like planets. It isn't simply a matter of probability, but the need to see three transits to get confirmation. So at least two Earth years, but often more like 3-5 years. The longer it is up, the more longer orbital period planets it will find!

    I love this!

  • by Cazekiel (1417893) on Tuesday April 03, 2012 @08:15PM (#39567261)

    Just like SETI, it always ticks me off when space and science projects are shelved because "it costs too much".

    The cost to run SETI a year = one army fighter plane
    50 years of NASA = the bank-bailout

    I've shut people up who say "the space program costs too much!" with those two facts alone. It'd be nice if we did spend too much on astronomy and science. "Sorry Mr. President, we can't go to war with (insert country with oil or other resources we want control of). We decided to spend money on cool shit that's gonna expand our feeble minds for once."

  • Re:Wonderful (Score:5, Insightful)

    by mattie_p (2512046) on Tuesday April 03, 2012 @08:17PM (#39567273)

    This is awesome! The longer Kepler is up, the more chance it has of finding Earth-like planets. It isn't simply a matter of probability, but the need to see three transits to get confirmation. So at least two Earth years, but often more like 3-5 years. The longer it is up, the more longer orbital period planets it will find!

    I love this!

    I appreciate your optimism, but the NASA senior review panel has absolutely nothing to do with funding decisions, which are all in the hands of Congress. Unless crowd-sourcing works (which is effective for such things as Kickstarter comic book drives, but not science, last I checked), and is more effective than the white house official petition website (aka, not effective) NASA will be out of luck, sad to say.

  • by malilo (799198) on Tuesday April 03, 2012 @08:37PM (#39567411)
    Ding ding ding! Here is the infographic version of the above comment: http://www.republicreport.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/04/ROI-1024x460.jpg [republicreport.org]
  • by ThePeices (635180) on Tuesday April 03, 2012 @08:45PM (#39567477)

    Uhm...there are no army fighter planes...fighter aircraft only exist in the airforce and naval services...

    Does anybody really care?

    Do you realise that what you pointed out adds absolutely nothing to the whole point he was making?

    It is obvious you did it just to find something to moan about. TBH, its pretty sad when you're doing it over something so piteously irrelevant as a minor grammar error.

  • by poly_pusher (1004145) on Tuesday April 03, 2012 @08:55PM (#39567541)
    We do have enough data. That is until we find something so outlandish that we need more data... It's a very sophisticated piece of equipment that is already in space. Considering how successful it's been, if we can continue to use it without having to send a manned mission to fix it, then we should just keep it operational as long as possible.
  • by Patch86 (1465427) on Wednesday April 04, 2012 @03:37AM (#39569255)

    You might call it a pendantic asshole point when I say that we haven't gone to "war" in 70 years. But, calling every military action a "war" is incorrect. Just as the president using the military as his personal pop-gun squad without the approval of the people (or more accurately, their elected representatives.) is incorrect.

    What a ridiculous thing to say. War is an English word with a commonly accepted meaning, i.e.:

    war (wôr)
    n.
    1.
    a. A state of open, armed, often prolonged conflict carried on between nations, states, or parties.

    The Iraq War was a war. The Vietnam War was a war. The Afghanistan War is a war. They're all called wars in natural English language, and they all meet the criteria. Sending 100,000 troops into a sovereign nation with the express purpose of toppling their government and replacing it with one friendly to your cause is a war in as classic a sense as you can get.

    Whether the White House has found some legal loop hole that allows them to avoid doing what the constitution says they have to do to go to war doesn't have any relevance. If the Attorney General found a way of classifying Afghanistan as a Charity Bake Sale it still wouldn't make it one; it would just mean that the legal code has more holes than Swiss cheese.

Faith may be defined briefly as an illogical belief in the occurence of the improbable. - H. L. Mencken

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