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Kepler mission development challenges and early results

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3 Author(s)
Fanson, J. ; Jet Propulsion Lab., California Inst. of Technol., Pasadena, CA, USA ; Frerking, M. ; Duren, R.

Kepler is NASA's first mission capable of detecting Earth-size planets orbiting in the habitable zone of stars other than the Sun. Kepler comprises a space telescope designed to continuously monitor the brightnesses of more than 100,000 target stars, and a ground segment to analyze the measured stellar light curves and detect the signatures of orbiting planets. In order to detect Earth-size planets orbiting Sun-like stars Kepler was designed to provide unprecedented photometric sensitivity and stability. This paper addresses some of the technical challenges encountered during the development of the Kepler mission and the measures taken to overcome them. Early scientific results are summarized.

Published in:

Aerospace Conference, 2011 IEEE

Date of Conference:

5-12 March 2011