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Nighttime launch of Kepler with rocket launching with cloud of smoke.
Artistic rendering of a partial planet with two sun-like stars in the background.
Artistic rendering of full Kepler telescope
Artistic rendering of full Kepler telescope

Kepler Facts:

- Launch date: March 6, 2009 at Kennedy Space Center, Cape Canaveral, Florida
- Launch vehicle: Delta II
- Mission target: Earth-trailing orbit
- Mission duration: 9 1/2 years
- Other key date: October 30, 2018 – Kepler/K2 End of Flight

After 9 years in space collecting data that revealed our night sky to be filled with trillions of hidden planets, NASA is ending the Kepler space telescope’s science operations. Kepler discovered over 2,600 planets, some of which could be promising places for life.

Credit: NASA

Related Papers:

Demory, B.-O., de Wit, J., Lewis, N., Fortney, J., Zsom, A., et al. (2013), ApJL, 776:L25. Press Release

     “Inference of Inhomogeneous Clouds in an Exoplanet Atmosphere”.

Grimm, S., … de Wit, J.,  et al (2018), A&A, 613, A68

     “The nature of the TRAPPIST-1 exoplanets”

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