CoRot: Retirement for planet-hunting space probe

Jun 24, 2013
Engineers of the French National space studies centre (CNES) are at work in the room dedicated to the Corot project on December 19, 2008 in Toulouse, south western France. The CoRot spacecraft built to eavesdrop on the music of the stars and detect distant Earth-like planets, will be retired after a successful mission double as long as envisioned, French space agency CNES said Monday.

The CoRot spacecraft built to eavesdrop on the music of the stars and detect distant Earth-like planets, will be retired after a successful mission double as long as envisioned, French space agency CNES said Monday.

Launched in December 2006, CoRot's on-board instrument stopped communicating with Earth last November after the satellite braved six years of intense bombardment with high-energy, deep-space particles, it said in a statement.

"Engineering teams at CNES and the French scientific research centre CNRS have been unable to recover the instrument."

CoRot found the first-ever candidate Earth-like world orbiting a star similar to our Sun, and another three just in its first year of operation.

Its prime goal was to look for planets made of rock rather than gas—the first requirement along with liquid water and a moderate temperature for life as we know it.

The mission of CoRot, executed with a 30-centimetre (12-inch) telescope and two cameras, was extended twice—first in 2009 and then again last year.

The satellite was able to acquire ultra-, to a factor of one ten-thousandth, of the , said the CNES.

"And the resulting harvest of unprecedented results is still far from over, since science teams are still poring over its data."

Hundreds of so-called have been detected by space probes to date, most of them uninhabitable .

CoRot's contribution was 32 confirmed planets and 100 more awaiting verification.

It also allowed the study of "brown dwarves", objects somewhere between a planet and a star, as well as measuring the frequencies of stellar vibrations.

The satellite will be placed into a lower orbit before being switched off, burning up on re-entry into Earth's atmosphere.

Explore further: US-India to collaborate on Mars exploration

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Scientists discover 10 new planets

Jul 19, 2011

A total of 10 new planets have been unearthed by an international team of scientists, and one of these is orbiting a star just a few tens of millions years old.

COROT's exoplanet hunt update

May 22, 2008

Two new exoplanets and an unknown celestial object are the latest findings of the COROT mission. These discoveries mean that the mission has now found a total of four new exoplanets.

Star blasts planet with X-rays

Sep 13, 2011

A nearby star is pummeling a companion planet with a barrage of X-rays a hundred thousand times more intense than the Earth receives from the Sun.

Team finds smallest transiting extrasolar planet ever

Feb 03, 2009

The CoRoT satellite has discovered a planet only twice as large as the Earth orbiting a star slightly smaller than the Sun. It is the smallest extrasolar planet (planet outside our solar system) whose radius ...

New planets feature young star and twin Neptunes

Jun 15, 2011

(PhysOrg.com) -- An international team, including Oxford University scientists, has discovered ten new planets. Amongst them is one orbiting a star perhaps only a few tens of million years old, twin Neptune-sized ...

Recommended for you

US-India to collaborate on Mars exploration

2 hours ago

The United States and India, fresh from sending their own respective spacecraft into Mars' orbit earlier this month, on Tuesday agreed to cooperate on future exploration of the Red Planet.

Swift mission observes mega flares from a mini star

2 hours ago

On April 23, NASA's Swift satellite detected the strongest, hottest, and longest-lasting sequence of stellar flares ever seen from a nearby red dwarf star. The initial blast from this record-setting series ...

Sandblasting winds shift Mars' landscape

7 hours ago

High winds are a near-daily force on the surface of Mars, carving out a landscape of shifting dunes and posing a challenge to exploration, scientists said Tuesday.

PanSTARRS K1, the comet that keeps going

9 hours ago

Thank you K1 PanSTARRS for hanging in there! Some comets crumble and fade away. Others linger a few months and move on. But after looping across the night sky for more than a year, this one is nowhere near ...

User comments : 1

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

maxb500_live_nl
1 / 5 (1) Jun 24, 2013
"CoRot's contribution was 32 confirmed planets and 100 more awaiting verification"

I knew about the mission but i only read about 1 or 2 discovories. Since it only has a 30 centimeter telescope I didn't expect much. Apperently the mission was much more successful than I knew about. Hopefully this great beginning wil result in a far more powerful replacement in the future to really show the way towards hundreds of nearby earth like planets.