Techs Check Out Kepler
March 4, 2009
Inside the Hazardous Processing Facility at Astrotech in Titusville, Fla., NASA's Kepler spacecraft is placed on a stand for fueling. Kepler is designed to survey more than 100,000 stars in our galaxy to determine the number of sun-like stars that have Earth-size and larger planets, including those that lie in a star's "habitable zone," a region where liquid water, and perhaps life, could exist. If these Earth-size worlds do exist around stars like our sun, Kepler is expected to be the first to find them and the first to measure how common they are. The liftoff of Kepler aboard a Delta II rocket is currently planned for 10:48 p.m. EST March 5 from Space Launch Complex 17 on Cape Canaveral Air Force Station.
Topics: Johannes Kepler, Astronomy, Planetary science, Habitable zone, Kepler, Discovery program, Kepler Mission, Exoplanetology, Spaceflight, Planet