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NASA will brief reporters on the status of the planet-hunting Kepler Space Telescope, which has been sidelined by a reaction wheel problem that the mission team said last month appears unsolvable. Launched in 2009, the Ball Aerospace-built telescope has completed its 3.5-year prime mission and has been working on an extended mission that runs through late 2016.
NASA sent out the following media advisory Wednesday (May 15) afternoon.
NASA has scheduled a news telecon this afternoon at 4 p.m. EDT to discuss the status of the agency’s Kepler Space Telescope. I wanted to ensure you didn’t miss the opportunity to listen in and ask questions.  Audio of the teleconference will also be streamed live on NASA’s website at:
Kepler is the first NASA mission capable of finding Earth-size planets in or near the habitable zone, which is the range of distance from a star where the surface temperature of an orbiting planet might be suitable for liquid water. Launched in 2009, the Kepler space telescope is detecting planets and planet candidates with a wide range of sizes and orbital distances to help us better understand our place in the galaxy.
  • NASA News Teleconference
  • Status of NASA’s Kepler Space Telescope
  • May 15, 2013, 4 p.m.EDT
  • Panelists:
  • John Grunsfeld, Associate Administrator, Science Mission Directorate, NASA Headquarters, Washington
  • Paul Hertz, astrophysics director, NASA Headquarters, Washington
  • William Borucki, Kepler science principal investigator, Ames Research Center, Calif.
  • Charles Sobeck, deputy project manager, Ames Research Center, Calif.

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Brian Berger is editor in chief of and the SpaceNews magazine. He joined in 1998, spending his first decade with the publication covering NASA. He was named senior staff writer in 2004, a position he held...