Kepler camera launched: Other “earths”, where are you?March 7th, 2009 - 11:27 am ICT by IANS
Washington, March 7 (DPA) NASA late Friday sent the Kepler satellite into Earth’s orbit with instructions to search for extraterrestrial life on Earth-type planets orbiting other stars.
The launch from Cape Canaveral in Florida on board a Delta-II-rocket was reported on a live blog operated by the Kepler project on the internet.
The Kepler mission, named after the 17th century German astronomer, is targetting about 100,000 stars in the Milky Way galaxy that scientists believe could have planets orbiting in a “habitable” zone.
The orbiting camera will be looking for shadows moving across the stars, which would indicate planetary movement and help measure the length of the orbits.
“If it orbits very fast, it will be a very hot planet,” said William Borucki, NASA’s principle investigator for the Kepler project, last month. “If the planet has a long orbital period, it will be very cold, we expect it would be forever frozen.”
The mission will eliminate both extremes as scientists, like Goldilocks, search for the planets that are “not too hot, not too cold, but just right”, Borucki said.
The $591 million mission is slated to last for three and a half years, but the Kepler camera will be outfitted to last six years, in anticipation that funding would be extended, NASA scientists said.
- ET, where are you? NASA to launch Kepler camera - Feb 20, 2009
- 50bn planets in Milky Way, estimates first cosmic census - Feb 21, 2011
- Cosmic census estimates 50 billion planets in our galaxy - Feb 21, 2011
- NASA Discovers Two New Planets In Milky Way - Aug 27, 2010
- Kepler telescope finds new planetary system - Aug 27, 2010
- NASA finds 1,235 planets that could have extra-terrestrial lifeforms - Mar 30, 2011
- Scientists discover first Earth-Size planets outside the Milky Way - Dec 21, 2011
- Earth-sized planets found beyond solar system - Dec 21, 2011
- NASA Finds 2 New Planets In Milky Way - Aug 27, 2010
- NASA's Kepler space telescope discovers 5 earth-like exoplanets - Jan 05, 2010
- Probe finds two Saturn-sized planets orbiting single star - Aug 27, 2010
- NASA's Kepler Space Telescope Finds 2 New Planets - Aug 27, 2010
- Nasa space telescope spots odd new solar system - Feb 03, 2011
- Alien find likelier after NASA finds evidence of over 1,200 more planets - Feb 03, 2011
- Milky Way 'has 50 billion planets' - Feb 21, 2011
Tags: borucki, cape canaveral, dpa, earth type, extraterrestrial life on earth, extremes, german astronomer, habitable zone, half years, kepler mission, launch, life on earth, milky way galaxy, nasa, nasa scientists, orbital period, orbits, planetary movement, principle investigator, type planets