Saturday, March 7, 2009

Kepler Blasts Off In Search Of Earth-Like Planets

In a timed exposure, spectators watch from Cocoa Beach as the Kepler satellite launches from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla. March 6. Malcolm Denemark / Associated Press

From The L.A. Times:

The $590-million mission, jointly managed by JPL and NASA, will examine a star-rich stretch of sky for a planet where water could exist in liquid form.

NASA's Kepler spacecraft blasted off from Kennedy Space Center in Florida on Friday on a three-year mission to find Earth's twin, a Goldilocks planet where it's neither too hot nor too cold, but just right for life to take hold.

The Delta II rocket, carrying the widest-field telescope ever put in space, lifted off the launch pad at Cape Canaveral at 10:49 p.m. Eastern time.

The launch vehicle headed downrange, gathering speed as its three stages ignited, one after the other, passing over the Caribbean island of Antigua and tracking stations in Australia before climbing into orbit.

Read more ....

More News On The Kepler Telescope

After Launch, Kepler Prepares To Carry Out Its Mission -- Red Orbit
Nasa launches Earth hunter probe -- BBC
CU leads historic voyage to find other Earths -- AP
Guide To Exoplanets -- MSNBC
Kepler Mission Sets Out to Find Planets Using CCD Cameras -- Daily Tech

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