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Press coverage of the announcment of Kepler Mission extension
04.06.2012

LEADING THE NEWS (from the Bulletin News):
Kepler Telescope Extension Expected To Bring Benefits.

  • The Associated Press (4/5) continues coverage of NASA's decision to extend the Kepler telescope to 2016. The article (Washington Post) notes that in its search for exoplanets, "scientists are eagerly waiting the discovery of an Earth-size world in the so-called Goldilocks zone - a place that's not too hot, not too cold, where water might exist in liquid form."
  • The Denver Post (4/5, Schrader, 385K) focuses on how University of Colorado at Boulder students will continue operating the telescope, a fact that pleases university officials because of the experience it provides.
  • According to Space.com (4/5, Wall), "Extending Kepler's mission could yield big dividends for several reasons, researchers have said. Because of the three-transit requirement, most of the worlds Kepler has found so far zip around their stars relatively quickly, in close-in orbits." Now the extension will allow scientists to find candidates in farther orbits. Furthermore, "seeing more transits will also increase the signal-to-noise ratio for closer-in planets, allowing more of them to be detected, researchers have said."
  • Spaceflight Now (4/4, Clark) reported that in a review, the telescope was called "an outstanding success. ... Kepler is not only a unique source of exoplanet discoveries, but also an organizing and rallying point for exoplanet research." Roger Hunter, Kepler project manager at the Ames Research Center, said, "There is currently no other mission in development that can replace or surpass the precision of Kepler."
  • The San Francisco Chronicle (4/5, A16, Perlman, 230K) and WLOS-TV Greenville, SC (4/5, 5:09 a.m. ET, 19K); also cover the story.

Additional coverage-

  • Bay Area KGO-810 Radio covered the story last night with a live interview with project scientist Nick Gautier.
  • Phil Plait, Bad Astronomy writer for Discover Magazine, covered the story– NASA review of space astrophysics missions extends all 9! He emphasized, that the 'Kepler [mission extension] is like being given the key to a treasure chest.'
  • Ball Aerospace and UC/LASP also issued press releases

Social media-

  • HUNDREDS of tweets were made and retweeted out to THOUSANDS across Twitter- Alan Boyle/MSNBC, @b0yle; @NASA; Jonathan Amos/BBC science correspondent, @BBCAmos, Phil Plait/Discover Magazine, @badastronomer; Google Lunar Z Prize, @glxp
  • On the NASA Kepler mission Facebook home- hundreds chimed in with exuberant comments…and greater expectations: "YES!… Great news. Now give us that earth-size in the HZ of a sun-like star, please."

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