The search is over. Now the discoveries can begin.
Scientists at NASA's Ames Research Center in Mountain View are beginning to sift through the mountains of data collected by the Kepler space-camera and telescope, according to the San Jose Mercury News.
Keper, a $600 million effort, has spent four years in space, using a meter-wide lens to record the locations of new planets, the newspaper reported. The craft made incalcuable gains in the knowledge of other solar systems.
The spacecraft is "crippled" now, with several of its gyroscopes out of commission, which means its photos are now blurry, the newspaper reported.
Had funding not been cut, Kepler would have been in service until 2019 -- possibly collecting enough data to satisfy the alien-hunters at SETI, or the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence.
But in its time, the craft has collected "two years of data," the newspaper reported, which means many discoveries are yet to come.