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Examining the global impact of technology
NASA’s Kepler and K2 Mission
In this episode, we discuss the Kepler and K2 Mission, operated by NASA’s Ames Research Center in Silicon Valley, whose purpose is to locate planets in other solar systems and determine if any of them might be capable of supporting life. The original Kepler Mission, launched in 2009, found many such “exoplanets” using the transit method, but when two of its stabilizers failed, it was no longer able to hold a steady gaze on its targets, and the mission was presumed dead. But an ingenious fix brought it back to life, and now, operating as K2 under a slightly revised mission, it’s doing better science than ever before. The program guests are three NASA astrophysicists from the mission. They are Jessie Dotson, the project scientist for the mission, Geert Barantsen, whose work deals with the data generated by the mission, and Christina Hedges, a support scientist for the mission. Martin Wasserman hosts.