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The Boston Globe

Metro

Space telescope failure may endanger planet-hunting mission

The Kepler Space Telescope, an instrument that altered our sense of our place in the universe by revealing that Earth-size planets orbited other stars, has suffered a malfunction with a wheel mechanism that helps point the telescope, endangering the mission.

Since its launch in 2009, Kepler has found more than 100 planets, with much of the data analysis done by two dozen astronomers at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics in Cambridge.

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