On Thursday, mission commanders announced that NASA's Kepler Space Telescope mission was primed and ready for launch, on the 5th of March, 2009. It took a lot of effort to get here, but now the most recent tool of scouting the Universe for Earth-like, inhabitable planets is ready for deployment. According to the space agency, the instrument will have a range of 3,000 light-years, which means that it has great chances of discovering planets similar to our own in this area.
“We're only two weeks from launch and there's a lot of activities going on down at the Kennedy Space Center right now,” the director of NASA Headquarters' Astrophysics Division in Washington, Jon Morse, says. The new spacecraft is scheduled to leave the Earth carried by a Delta II rocket, which will blast off from the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. “Most of these planets do not have Earth-like sizes or orbits. I call it our planetary census-taker,” he adds.
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