Residing about 500 light years away, Kepler-186f resides within the hospitable zone of its orbit around its star, and could be a very strong candidate for having conditions suitable for extraterrestrial life.
NASA launched the Kepler telescope on March 6, 2009, in a bid to find out if Earth-like planets that may harbour life are common or rare in other star systems. "Its discoveries have shed a new light on our place in the universe, and illuminated the tantalizing mysteries and possibilities among the stars". Kepler discovered thousands of planets with varying characteristics. Before Kepler, we had discovered just a few hundred exoplanets, but the technology of the Kepler, allowed scientists to add more than 2,600 exoplanets to our databases.More news: Pres. Trump: Republican Party Will Do Well In Upcoming Elections
"Now, that we know there are exoplanets everywhere, Kepler Space Telescope has put us on a new path full of promise for future generations to explore our galaxy", Kepler principal investigator William Borucki, founder of the Kepler Space Telescope mission, said in the statement. Some of these include rocky planets in their stars' habitable zones, where temperatures allow liquid water to exist on their surfaces. Now, however, Kepler's fantastic journey came to an end, many upcoming missions are waiting in the wings and will take over the exoplanet search. "It was an extremely clever approach to doing this kind of science", says director for astronomy and physics at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Leslie Livesay.
But the mission was not without its hiccups - in 2013, mechanical failures stopped Kepler's observations. "There were definitely challenges, but Kepler had an extremely talented team of scientists and engineers who overcame them".More news: Fight Mayweather - Nurmagomedov will not take place: the cause
"If you only pick out the ones that are getting toward the end of their life then you can make a story, but if you look at the entire portfolio of spacecraft, I don't think we have a problem at all, I think we are in a golden age of NASA science", Hertz said.
Both spacecraft used chemical fuel to twist themselves back toward Earth and beam their findings home; without that fuel there was no way to learn from our distant emissaries.More news: Teachers in hot water for Halloween costumes depicting Mexicans and border wall
The MAST will also host the data that will be collected by NASA's next great space observatory and Kepler's successor, Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite or TESS. TESS builds on Kepler's foundation with fresh batches of data in its search of planets orbiting some 200,000 of the brightest and nearest stars to the Earth, worlds that can later be explored for signs of life by missions, such as NASA's James Webb Space Telescope.