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Kepler was an American (NASA) astronomy probe launched by a Delta 2 rocket from Cape Canaveral at 03:50 UT on 07 March 2009. Kepler's mission was to search for Earth-sized planets around other stars by looking for brightness variations in over 100,000 stars in the Cygnus-Lyra region. The photometer on Kepler continuously monitored the same star-field in a 12-degree field of view over the nominal 3.5 year lifetime, allowing multiple observations of transits of exoplanets in orbits up to one year. In order to maintain a stable pointing attitude, the spacecraft was placed into a Earth-trailing heliocentric orbit of period 372.5 days.

Alternate Names

  • 34380

Facts in Brief

Launch Date: 2009-03-07
Launch Vehicle: Delta II
Launch Site: Cape Canaveral, United States
Mass: 1052 kg

Funding Agency

  • National Aeronautics and Space Administration (United States)


  • Astronomy

Additional Information

Questions and comments about this spacecraft can be directed to: Coordinated Request and User Support Office



NameRoleOriginal AffiliationE-mail
Mr. William J. BoruckiMission Principal InvestigatorNASA Ames Research
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