The Kepler Mission

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dragon04

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Kepler Spacecraft to Hunt Earth-Like Worlds

By Leonard David
SPACE.com's Space Insider Columnist
posted: 14 January 2009
8:43 am ET
BOULDER, Colo. - NASA's Kepler space telescope, a sharp-eyed spacecraft designed to hunt for Earth-like planets, is ready to ship out for an early March launch. Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp. - the Boulder, Colo.-based NASA contractor responsible for developing the Kepler flight system and supporting mission operations - recently completed the spacecraft's final pre-ship checkout and delivered the spacecraft to Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla., for a March 5 liftoff on a Delta 2 booster.http://www.space.com/businesstechnology ... unter.html  

It's not every day that a guy gets a Space Mission launch for a birthday present!  


Kepler @ NASA : http://kepler.nasa.gov/
 
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MeteorWayne

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<p>Replay of Keplar L-14d news conference supposed to be live on NASA TV now....</p> <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p><font color="#000080"><em><font color="#000000">But the Krell forgot one thing John. Monsters. Monsters from the Id.</font></em> </font></p><p><font color="#000080">I really, really, really, really miss the "first unread post" function</font><font color="#000080"> </font></p> </div>
 
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MeteorWayne

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<p><BR/>Replying to:<BR/><DIV CLASS='Discussion_PostQuote'>Replay of Keplar L-14d news conference supposed to be live on NASA TV now.... <br />Posted by MeteorWayne</DIV><br /><br />It was. I was too busy with other projects to take scribblenotes, but did listen to the News Conference, so if any one has any questions, I can attempt an answer.</p><p>Here's a link to the latest from NASA on the mission:</p><p>http://www.nasa.gov/home/hqnews/2009/feb/HQ_09-035_Kepler.html</p><p>WASHINGTON -- NASA's Kepler spacecraft is ready to be moved to the launch pad today and will soon begin a journey to search for worlds that could potentially host life. <br /><br />Kepler is scheduled to blast into space from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla., aboard a Delta II rocket on March 5 at 10:48 p.m. EST. It is the first mission with the ability to find planets like Earth -- rocky planets that orbit sun-like stars in a warm zone where liquid water could be maintained on the surface. Liquid water is believed to be essential for the formation of life. <br /><br />"Kepler is a critical component in NASA's broader efforts to ultimately find and study planets where Earth-like conditions may be present," said Jon Morse, the Astrophysics Division director at NASA Headquarters in Washington. "The planetary census Kepler takes will be very important for understanding the frequency of Earth-size planets in our galaxy and planning future missions that directly detect and characterize such worlds around nearby stars." <br /><br />The mission will spend three and a half years surveying more than 100,000 sun-like stars in the Cygnus-Lyra region of our Milky Way galaxy. It is expected to find hundreds of planets the size of Earth and larger at various distances from their stars. If Earth-size planets are common in the habitable zone, Kepler could find dozens; if those planets are rare, Kepler might find none. </p> <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p><font color="#000080"><em><font color="#000000">But the Krell forgot one thing John. Monsters. Monsters from the Id.</font></em> </font></p><p><font color="#000080">I really, really, really, really miss the "first unread post" function</font><font color="#000080"> </font></p> </div>
 
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qzzq

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<p>For someone like me, who grew up with ET and Close Encounters of the Third Kind and Star Wars, this is definitely a mission to look forward to. </p><p>Mission website: http://kepler.nasa.gov/</p><p>&nbsp;</p> <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p> </p><p>***</p> </div>
 
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dragon04

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No Birthday Launch for me... :(

LATEST — 2009 Feb 26. Kepler spacecraft and target starfield NASA'S Kepler Telescope to Launch Aboard Delta II Rocket. Excerpt: CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. -- Launch of NASA's Kepler telescope is targeted for no earlier than Friday, March 6, from Pad 17-B at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. There are two launch windows, from 10:49 - 10:52 p.m. and 11:13 - 11:16 p.m. EST.

http://kepler.nasa.gov/

Bummer.
 
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rocketscientist327

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Best Mission in my (conscious) Lifetime

I was alive for one moon landing (no idea, like two mos old) and the shuttle.

I look at Kepler as the best mission ever. I know that is saying a lot; but when you look at what Kepler "should" find, and I think Kepler will, it really is going to hit home like no other space mission has.

I grew up with "The Big Blue Marble", what happens when we wake up and the JWST has a picture of "The Big Blue Marble", only it isn't Earth?

Here is to a flawless launch and insertion.

VR
RS327
 
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dragon04

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It's gratifying to me that we're pursuing exoplanetary science.
 
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Mee_n_Mac

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Here's something I find interesting. If I've understood it properly, Kepler can detect a change in luminosity, of a Sun sized star, of less than 0.0084% all while observing 100,000 stars simultaneously. Holy crap !
 
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Psymon

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Hi

I know next to nothing about astronomy - but from what i have heard, ppl are hunting for planets by watching stars to see if they dim slightly when the planet passes infront of them...

now that seems all good and well, but, isn't it a little presumptious to assume that the plane of the orbit of said planet would line up perfectly with our angle of viewing!!??

Surely solar systems could be at any given angle, so we might be looking 'down' at a system from the 'top', so it's planets would never cross our line of sight?

-Or are we certain that all star systems are orientated the same way?

it just confuses me :[
 
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Mee_n_Mac

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Psymon":38inqv8i said:
Hi

I know next to nothing about astronomy - but from what i have heard, ppl are hunting for planets by watching stars to see if they dim slightly when the planet passes infront of them...

now that seems all good and well, but, isn't it a little presumptious to assume that the plane of the orbit of said planet would line up perfectly with our angle of viewing!!??

Surely solar systems could be at any given angle, so we might be looking 'down' at a system from the 'top', so it's planets would never cross our line of sight?

-Or are we certain that all star systems are orientated the same way?

it just confuses me :[
You are correct in that not all orbits are aligned with the Earth such that the planet transitting it's sun is visible. If you go here and scroll down to Geometric Probability you can see how they've calculated the odds that an alignment will be favorable. So yes there's no guarantee that if there's planets to be found, Kepler will find them ... just due to mis-alignment.
 
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MeteorWayne

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Kepler Pre-Launch Science Briefing at 1 PM EST (1800 UT) today on NASA TV.
 
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MeteorWayne

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All is well for tonight's Kepler Launch. Weather is superb (95% go). NASA TV Launch coverage begings at 8:30 PM EST (0130 UT/GMT)
 
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idic5

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Is there going to be live web coverage of the kepler liftoff night, march 6? can someone post the details for this coverage - the time, and the url?
 
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CommonMan

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I have the TV set, my pop corn, and a five dollar bet all ready.
 
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idic5

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quote--
Yes, it begins at 8:30 EST tonght.

i read somewhere the bastoff is 1049 pm est. so teh nasa.tv coverage BEGINS at 830 pm est? pre-launch show coverage?
 
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MeteorWayne

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idic5":r776rw35 said:
quote--
Yes, it begins at 8:30 EST tonght.

i read somewhere the bastoff is 1049 pm est. so teh nasa.tv coverage BEGINS at 830 pm est? pre-launch show coverage?
Correct, launch is scheduled for 10:49 PM to 11:20 PM EST.

Yes, coverage starts at 8:30.

You don't HAVE to watch the whole thing, but there's a lot to be learned about the process of launching a spacecraft if you listen in.

We launch junkies listen to every second we can get :) :)
 
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