Well, what a bummer, right? And to add insult to injury, the CoRoT mission had just been approved for a three-year mission extension only days before it stopped working… that’s like having a winning lottery ticket and accidentally putting it in the laundry. Quelle horreur!!
And while CoRoT may now be a perfectly functional but mute spacecraft out there, there’s no denying the fact that despite its unglamorous ending it’s had a great run. Scientists will be pouring over CoRoT’s data for years to come, and it’s anybody’s guess at this time on how many planets it really discovered, since that’s a slow and painstaking process. Oui, oui, mes amis.
And so – farewell, CoRoT, adieu, et c’est la vie. It was a great mission while it lasted. At least none of us will have to worry about finding CoRoT stuck in their cabbage patch anytime soon – it’s pretty far out there!
Brush up on your knowledge about the debonair planet hunter at http://smsc.cnes.fr/COROT/
Beate Czogalla is the Professor of Theater Design in the Department of Theatre and Dance at Georgia College & State University. She has had a lifelong interest in space exploration and has been a Solar System Ambassador for the Jet Propulsion Laboratory/ NASA for many years. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org