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UK students on mission to find space dog Sam, NASA recovers Kepler telescope

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LONDON - There's a worldwide search for a lost dog named Sam that could be light years from home.

He's not your average four-legged friend.  He's just a stuffed animal that went missing after being launched into space for a school science project.

Last week, students in London attached the toy to a helium balloon and sent him on his stratospheric voyage armed with tracking devices and GoPro cameras.

The balloon popped when it reached a staggering 15 miles above Earth.  Now, this doggone space odyssey has gone viral with a hashtag Find Sam. (#FindSam)  Someone even created a Twitter account to help find him.

Perhaps a telescope could help with this 'ruff' mission?  NASA already has one in orbit the Kepler spacecraft, which searches for habitable planets.

It was almost lost in space after being low on fuel in emergency mode 75-million miles away from home.  Thankfully, the telescope is back in search mode.

Who knows, it might find Sam living on some remote planet with a family who changed his name to Astro.