Wednesday, February 11, 2009

NASA's Kepler Spacecraft nears March Launch

Next Month, a NASA spacecraft will set off on a decade long mission to discover new planets in other nearby solar systems as humanity looks to discover if there is a planet similar to that of earth.

NASA's Kepler spacecraft, according to mission management, will "survey more than 100,000 stars in our galaxy" to determine if there are any earth-type planets in their orbits.

A United Launch Alliance Delta II is set to depart launch complex 17B at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station on March 5th, at 10:48 pm EST. The 30 minute launch window extends from 10:48 pm to 11:18 pm.

++ SLN: Up to the Minute will provide LIVE coverage of the March 5th launch one hour prior to its planned lift-off. ++

The January 30th image of Kepler [above] - taken at the AstroTech facility here in Titusville, FL - shows the gold foiled observatory; several white thrusters; and one of its dark blue solar arrays.

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