Kepler Mission Facts
The Kepler Space Telescope was named after German astronomer Johannes Kepler. This telescope was launched on March 7, 2009. The main purpose of KST is to observe and study regions of the Milky Way Galaxy closer to the Earth. This observatory also finds planets outside our solar system. This spacecraft has the largest camera ever launched in the space, a 95 mega-pixel array of CCD.
Quick Facts: –
- Kepler Space Telescope is launched to watch an area that contains around 100,000 stars like the Sun.
- KST is the first ever mission of the world that has an ability to find true Earth analogs. These earth analogs are planets that orbit stars like the Sun.
- This spacecraft is so powerful that from the space it could detect a person in a small town turning off a porch light at night.
- The construction and initial operation of the telescope were managed by NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory.
- Till January 2015, KST has discovered total 1000 exoplanets or extrasolar planets in more than 400 solar systems.
- This spacecraft was launched into a heliocentric orbit dragged by the Earth.
- Initially, KST was launched for the three and a half year long mission.
- Kepler Space Telescope Keeps looking for periodic dips in the brightness of stars so that new planets can be detected.
- This technique of detecting planets is called Transit detection.
- KST has found many small rocky planets, the size of earth or even smaller.
- This spacecraft is a part of NASA’s discovery program of relatively low-cost, focused primary science missions.