The Kepler space telescope's broken positioning system cannot be repaired, according to NASA officials, dashing hopes of returning the observatory to its planet-hunting mission. "The wheels (that control the telescope's motion) are sufficiently damaged that they cannot sustain spacecraft pointing control for any extended period of time," said Charles Sobeck, Kepler deputy project manager at NASA's Ames Research Center. Scientists might be able to use Kepler for other projects, and NASA is evaluating proposals before deciding on whether to continue funding the Kepler mission.

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