Science

Kepler's Search for New Worlds
Kepler Space Telescope's mission: to find Earth-size and smaller planets around other stars.

Blast off!

March 6: Spectators watch the launch of NASA's planet-hunting spacecraft, Kepler, from Cocoa Beach, Fla.
AP

In Search of New Worlds

An artist's interpretation of the Kepler observatory in space.
NASA

The Honeycombed Primary Mirror

A technician inspects Kepler's lightweight, honeycomb-like primary mirror, which weighs only 14 percent that of a solid mirror of the same dimensions and is made out of ultra-low- expansion glass.
NASA/Ball Aerospace

In Search of New Worlds

This image depicts the 3,000-ight-year-wide target area for NASA's planet-hunting Kepler spacecraft.
NASA/Jon Lomberg

In Search of New Worlds

A technician inspects Kepler's imaging surface, an array of charge coupled devices (CCDs) similar to what's found in a digital camera.
Ball Aerospace

In Search of New Worlds

Technicians working inside the Astrotech Space Operations facility near NASA's Kennedy Space Center look over the Kepler spacecraft soon after it arrived in Florida in preparation for launch.
NASA/Tim Jacobs

In Search of New Worlds

Workers attach the two-part payload fairing over the Kepler space telescope as they prepare it for launch. The fairing will protect the spacecraft from friction and turbulence during launch, and jettison after it escapes the atmosphere.
NASA/Jack Pfaller

Kepler's Search for New Worlds

Kepler Space Telescope's mission: to find Earth-size and smaller planets around other stars.

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