The latest update to Kepler, the successor to the Kepler space telescope that made discoveries of the dwarf planet Kepler-186f, says the telescope is still in a relatively early phase of development and could take another decade to get there.
In a report released on Tuesday, the space agency said that it expected Kepler-19 to be “operational in two years”.
“The second part of this roadmap will focus on improvements to the hardware, software, data and analysis, to help deliver a better and more robust product,” the report said.
“The third part of the roadmap is to build a better, faster, and more reliable telescope.”
The Kepler mission is the most complex of the 20th century’s major space missions, with a huge amount of work going into developing the telescope and its instruments, as well as the spacecraft and its mission software.
The Kepler spacecraft is launched from Cape Canaveral on April 19, 2017.
Photo: ReutersA number of other projects are also underway in space.
One is to land on Mars, where the US space agency is planning to land a rover.
Another is to study a small asteroid called Bennu that is believed to be in orbit around the sun.
The International Space Station is also being built in preparation for a crewed mission to the planet.
The last time the US had a mission to another planet was in 2006, when the Deep Impact mission successfully landed on the planet’s surface.
The next mission to visit a distant star will also be launched in 2018.
But in the coming years, Nasa plans to launch missions to asteroids and comets, and to search for signs of life on Mars.
The space agency has a long list of missions planned for the next decade, including the James Webb Space Telescope, the next generation of space telescopes, the James E Oberg Discovery Program and a mission that will study water ice.
There are also plans to build and operate a new orbiting observatory that will survey the skies in deep space.