The Search for Earth-like Planets orbiting other Stars Begins

A new age of exploration and discovery has just begun. Humanity has ushered in a new age of discovery with the launch of a new automated astronomical observatory designed specifically to search for Earth-like planets orbiting distant suns. Our species is poised to answer the age old questions of its place in the Universe and whether or not we share this Cosmos with other inquisitive life forms asking and perhaps knowing the answer to the same thought provoking question – Are we alone in the Universe?

The Kepler telescope launched aboard a Delta II rocket on Friday March 7th, 2009 at 3:49am UTC.

The Kepler Mission will use a space photometer developed by NASA to search for Earth-like planets orbiting other stars. It will observe the brightness of over 100,000 stars over 3.5 years to detect periodic transits of a star by its planets (the transit method). The mission is named in honour of Johannes Kepler.

Kepler is a mission under NASA’s Discovery Program of low-cost, focused science missions. NASA’s Ames Research Center is the home organization of the science principal investigator and is responsible for the ground system development, mission operations and science data analysis. Kepler mission development is managed by NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory. Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp. is responsible for developing the Kepler flight system.

Stay tuned to future issues of Discovery-Enterprise as we follow this trail blazing mission into the unknown and explore nothing less than the Universe, Life and everything else.

The Launch of the Kepler Astronomical Observatory

Kepler Mission Update

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