NASA Kepler MissionIn February 2009 NASA is going to launch the Kepler Mission. The mission will use a photometer to detect the presence of extra-solar planets in the Milky Way Galaxy. Basically, the photometer works by sensing the change in light as a planet orbits a star. The planet needs to be line of sight from photometer for this to work. According to Wikipedia, Kepler can monitor 100,000 stars simultaneously, giving it good odds that it will be able to find many Earth-like terrestrial planets.

You can get your name sent along with the mission if you like. A DVD is being sent up on Kepler with people’s names and the reasons why they support the mission. You can go to this page at SETI to sign up. In my opinion, this is a great way for people to feel more connected with the mission and NASA in general.

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