How this now retired scientist NASA greatly helped


More than fifty years, he worked for NASA, but now has William Borucki, the American space agency leave. From this weekend, he may enjoy his retirement. And not surprising, because the scientist let a cargo of valuable knowledge behind.

Likely, the name Borucki’s not everybody’s bells ring. However, it is likely that his work, however, at the most will know. Borucki was during his career at the American space agency, one of the driving forces behind the Kepler project. Thanks to that project took NASA over the past few years, less than a thousand exoplanets. That are planets that revolve around other stars than our sun.

After completing his master’s in Physics came Borucki in 1962 at NASA. It is there that he years engaged in the development of the heat shields for the Apollo program, that was intended to be the first man on the moon. The shields were designed to ensure that the astronauts safely back could go home without having to go into the atmosphere.

After the work on the Apollo heat shields began Borucki on study meteorology. Herein he obtained his master’s degree eventually in 1982. In the same year he began to bite into the formation of thunderstorms. He is examined by means of the data from the satellites, how the storm on our planet and on other planets, including Jupiter, Venus, and Saturnusmaan Titan. To do this, he developed several models.

Slowly went the attention of the scientist to other planets. He started at NASA to deal with the so-called Transit Method. That means that scientists observe stars to see if there are planets beyond mad. Borucki was specialized in the method and later came up with a way that telescopes in a similar way, looking could to so-called exoplanets.

The researcher wanted to have telescopes in space went in search of the planets, but the first two proposals above were made by the NASA disapproved. The first time, in 1992, the technique is still not suitable. Two years later it turned out that the project is too much money it would cost.

Fortunately for Borucki and his team was there in 1995 the first exoplanet around a similar star like the our found. This proved the effect of the former detection method. Therefore followed in 1996, again a research proposal, but was again rejected. The technique would still not be able to thousands of stars simultaneously to observe and measure.

Here let Borucki not down. Together with other researchers, he built an observatory on Mount Hamilton, east of the Californian San Jose. With a special telescope, the Vulcan, he showed that it was actually possible to make thousands of stars simultaneously to observe. Eventually, it was his plan to exoplanets to study in 2000 accepted.

The work resulted in the Kepler satellite, which only was launched in 2009 by financial setbacks. Thanks to the spacecraft are so far over a thousand exo-planets have been found around other stars. At the beginning of this year, scientists found thanks to Kepler, a 11.2 billion years old planetary system with five planets. It is the oldest planetary system of the milky way galaxy that we know of.

Borucki from Saturday after 53 years in the service of NASA of his pension. Many praising him for his leadership, his vision and his research. An astronaut says: “He goes away with such a high valuation that not only his legacy will be celebrated, but also his work will be remembered as the beginning of a new chapter in the history of science and the human imagination.”