NASA launches planet-hunting telescope Friday March 6
NASA will launch their planet-hunting telescope tomorrow, Friday March 6, which will look for Earth-like planets to see if there are other places in the solar system that could potentially support human life. The launch is set for 10:49 pm EST March 6 from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida.
"This is a historical mission," NASA's space science chief Ed Weiler told reporters on Thursday. "It really attacks some basic human questions that have been asked since that first man or woman looked up in the sky and asked, 'Are we alone?'"
Once in orbit, Kepler will be aimed at a star-rich swath of sky between the constellations Cygnus and Lyra in our own Milky Way galaxy. The telescope has two main tasks on its three-year mission: Stare at the stars and stay still.
340 planets have been found already, but none of them seem able to support any form of life and none are as small as Earth. Scientists look at this telescope as a way for scoping out rocky planets that might be good real estate.
The entire mission will take about three years to complete.