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#1 2007-03-09 03:31:33

cIclops
Member
Registered: 2005-06-16
Posts: 3,230

Re: Kepler - telescope for detecting earth size exoplanets

spacecraft_lbl.gif
Spacecraft elements

The Kepler Mission is to launch in October 2008 and is expected to detect about 50 earth size planets by monitoring transits of 100,000 stars using its 1.4 m primary mirror.

See also COROT and Gaia


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#2 2007-03-09 13:31:32

Mars_B4_Moon
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Registered: 2006-03-23
Posts: 349

Re: Kepler - telescope for detecting earth size exoplanets

great news, thanks

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#3 2007-05-05 16:01:29

Yang Liwei Rocket
Member
Registered: 2004-03-03
Posts: 993

Re: Kepler - telescope for detecting earth size exoplanets

I think this could be a great mission

It's also been mentioned in the news

In the near future, with the launch of NASA's Kepler Mission in 2008, we'll have the tools to seek evidence of Earth-size planets in the habitable zone of distant stars.

http://www.space.com/searchforlife/0704 … rsday.html

Scientists currently have a census of over 200 Jupiter-sized planets orbiting near stars, but no real idea how common Earth-size planets are. NASA Ames's Jack Lissauer explains the focus on the big boys isn't because gas giants are the most common but because they're most easily detectable with today's equipment.

"It would be like looking from a distance at a street light at night and concluding most of the insects in the area are moths. There could be far more gnats flying around but you couldn't know."

And, if we want to search for life, we need to stick to where we think it can flourish

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2007/04/12 … et_search/


http://www.sunjournal.com/story/209220- … rbor_life/
NASA plans to launch such a mission next year, named Kepler, to scour the skies for Earthlike planets.

"Kepler will monitor 100,000 stars for four years with enough precision to find Earth-size planets in the habitable zone," said William Borucki, a space scientist at NASA's Ames Research Center. Astronomers define a "habitable zone" as one that's not too hot or too cold, and not too near its star to permit life.

"Habitable," of course, isn't the same as "inhabited." Scientists say liquid water is essential for life, but its presence doesn't mean that anything is alive there.


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#4 2007-07-16 05:26:34

cIclops
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Registered: 2005-06-16
Posts: 3,230

Re: Kepler - telescope for detecting earth size exoplanets

Kepler Team Cuts Costs, Avoids Cancellation - 16 Jul 2007 By Brian Berger, Space News Staff Writer

This spring, the Kepler team - which consists of Ball Aerospace & Technology, Ames Research Center and the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) - told NASA science chief Alan Stern it needed an additional $42 million and an extra four months to finish the spacecraft.

"My response was 'no, [the Science Mission Directorate] no longer manages by open checkbook. You need to find a way to get it back in the box because I don't have $42 million in the astrophysics program anyway,'" Stern recalled in a July 9 interview.

Stern told the team to come back in June with a plan for getting the job done within the revised budget NASA approved for Kepler last year.

"On June 1, they came with a request for $54 million instead of $42 million, at which point I said: 'Kepler project, apparently you don't think I'm serious ... If you don't think I'm serious just come back to me with numbers like these again and that will be the end of the project.'"

When he testified before Congress in May, Stern made clear that the program was all but canceled at that point - and that was before the Kepler team responded to his call to cut costs by asking for even more money.

After rejecting their June 1 request for another $54 million, Stern gave the Kepler team a month to take another crack at putting their program "back in the box."

On July 6, the Kepler team returned to NASA headquarters here to present their plan.

"They took us very seriously," Stern said. "They came back with no cost increase."

The Kepler team, according to Stern, proposed staying within the budget NASA approved in 2006, by cutting six months off the end of the four-year mission, scaling back some spacecraft testing, reducing schedule reserve and making some management changes.

In addition, Ball Aerospace & Technologies, the Boulder, Colo.-based firm building the spacecraft and instrument, gave up "millions and millions of dollars of their earned fee," Stern said.

The plan passed muster with Stern and the other NASA officials who examined it - including Stern's science advisor John Mather, his deputy for programs Todd May and a representative from NASA's Office of the Chief Engineer - as a clear and viable path to the launch pad.


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#5 2008-01-28 11:30:09

cIclops
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Registered: 2005-06-16
Posts: 3,230

Re: Kepler - telescope for detecting earth size exoplanets

07-2931d-Kepler.JPG

Ball Aerospace Completes Primary Mirror and Detector Array Assembly Milestones

September 25, 2007

BOULDER, Colo., Sept. 25, 2007 – Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp. has successfully completed two significant milestones for the Kepler Mission: the precision coating process of Kepler’s primary mirror, and the integration of the detector array assembly. These milestones meet a critical path requirement and allow the program to begin integration and test on the photometer telescope and focal plane array assembly.

“These milestones allow the Kepler mission to enter the next phase of development and demonstrate Ball Aerospace’s intent to successfully move the program forward,” said Cary Ludtke, Vice President and General Manager for Ball’s Civil and Operational Space business unit.

The Kepler instrument is a custom-built, 0.95-meter aperture Schmidt telescope, with a 1.4-meter primary mirror, and an array of 46 charge coupled devices (CCDs) at the focus. It features a focal plane array of 95 megapixels that will measure the brightness of 100,000 stars every 30 minutes in a search for Earth-size planets around stars in our galaxy.

Coating the primary mirror culminates a four-year development program to design and build a large, light-weight mirror for use in space. The enhanced, silver coating technology used for the primary mirror was provided by Surface Optics Corporation and is designed to provide the NASA mission with the sensitivity needed to detect planets as they pass in front of stars. With the primary mirror complete, integration of the telescope using the 0.95 m Schmidt corrector and composite housing is now underway.

Perfection.


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#6 2008-01-28 11:59:38

RedStreak
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From: Illinois
Registered: 2006-05-12
Posts: 541

Re: Kepler - telescope for detecting earth size exoplanets

I bet if they didn't have to wear those contamination masks...they'd be too tempted to stick their tounges out when checking out the mirror.  tongue

So later this year Kepler's off to orbit at last?

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#7 2008-01-28 12:27:34

cIclops
Member
Registered: 2005-06-16
Posts: 3,230

Re: Kepler - telescope for detecting earth size exoplanets

Launch is planned for just over a year from now, 16 Feb 2009


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#8 2008-02-20 05:59:54

cIclops
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Registered: 2005-06-16
Posts: 3,230

Re: Kepler - telescope for detecting earth size exoplanets

Tests of Kepler Mission Image Detectors - 19 Feb 2008

There will be 42 charge coupled devices (CCDs) used in the focal plane of the telescope during the actual mission. Together, the 42 CCDs make up a large array measuring about a foot square in Kepler’s telescope. This is the largest array of CCD detectors ever flown in space, Koch said.

In this month’s Single String Transit Verification Test at Ames, scientists will be testing only one CCD, measuring approximately one-inch by two inches. Scientists will use a Kepler Technology Demonstration test bed to generate a star field, a pattern of stars, to represent that part of the sky where mission scientists will search for transits. The tests will verify the detectors’ ability to measure the tiny light intensity variations.

In space, the array of detectors will be covered with sapphire field-flattener lenses and use a telescope, which Borucki said will search a region of sky 30,000 times larger that the Hubble Space Telescope is able to observe.


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#9 2008-03-06 07:35:03

Yang Liwei Rocket
Member
Registered: 2004-03-03
Posts: 993

Re: Kepler - telescope for detecting earth size exoplanets


'first steps are not for cheap, think about it...
did China build a great Wall in a day ?' ( Y L R newmars forum member )

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#10 2008-03-25 02:49:32

cIclops
Member
Registered: 2005-06-16
Posts: 3,230

Re: Kepler - telescope for detecting earth size exoplanets

08-0468-Kepler.jpg

More images

Searching for Earth - 24 Mar 2008

The test that Koch and his colleagues performed recently at NASA Ames was a final check of one of Kepler’s CCDs, along with its associated electronics. The test used flight hardware identical to what will fly on the spacecraft. Kepler will have 42 CCDs, each about 1 x 2 inches, containing a total of 95 megapixels. By comparison, the CCDs on digital cameras are about the size of a thumbnail and even top-of-the-line professional cameras typically contain about 10 to 12 megapixels.

To perform the test, Koch had built an artificial star field containing 1600 faint “stars.” Each star was actually a tiny rectangular hole, 10 microns wide, cut by a laser into a metal plate. Across some of these holes he mounted a wire about the width of a human hair. A light source was placed below the plate, and the CCD above it. The entire assembly was enclosed within a 10-foot-high vibration-resistant chamber surrounded by 4-inch-thick thermal insulation and thermal-electric heaters and coolers to maintain a constant temperature to within 50 thousandths of a degree.

To simulate a transit, Koch ran current through one of the wires, causing it to expand by a mere 12 nanometers. This blocked some of the light – a mere 80 parts per million – shining through the rectangular hole, just enough to look to the CCD like a transit will look to Kepler.

The entire test took several weeks to run. “A transit lasts a fraction of a day. So you can’t just take the measurement for five minutes,” said Koch. You have to “show that you can have this thing stable for many days. We ran tests as long as two weeks continuously” in some cases, to ensure that the setup was operating stably. “We didn’t want to have another Hubble,” Koch said.

The test was a resounding success. It showed that Kepler’s CCDs will work as anticipated. What remains now is to complete the spacecraft’s assembly and to launch it into space. The launch is scheduled for February 2009.


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#11 2011-12-07 11:20:13

Rune
Member
From: Madrid, Spain
Registered: 2008-05-22
Posts: 191

Re: Kepler - telescope for detecting earth size exoplanets

http://www.spaceflightnow.com/news/n1112/05kepler/

NASA's Kepler space telescope has discovered a planet circling at just the right distance from another star, making for comfortable temperatures and supporting an environment for liquid water and possible life, scientists announced Monday.
Orbiting a star much like the sun, the planet is about 2.4 times the radius of Earth and has a year lasting about 290 days. But researchers need to know its mass, density and composition before declaring the planet Earth-like.

So, great news! First of many. This is what I got from the news conference (Video here for those that want to see it):

In this field, number 2 is the all important number, because we count one, two, infinity. As soon as we find a different, separate example of life somewhere else, we are going to know it's ubiquitous throughout the universe.

It sums up my feelings on it quite nicely, so I'll just use that and save on neurons. Go Kepler!


Rune. It's kind of an historic time to live in, right? On the verge of answering a very, very old question.

Last edited by Rune (2011-12-07 11:20:57)


In the beginning the universe was created. This has made a lot of people very angry and been widely regarded as a "bad move"

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#12 2011-12-07 18:27:41

SpaceNut
Administrator
From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 13,056

Re: Kepler - telescope for detecting earth size exoplanets

http://news.yahoo.com/nasa-telescope-co … 05358.html

So far is closest discovery of a planet similar to Earth in size and distance from its star, aka in "The Goldilocks Zone."

This planet has a diameter 2.4 times Earth's.

It is a mere 600 light years away.

Kepler has also detected a possible additional 1,000 exoplanets.

Alien planets get pigeonholed

111205-coslog-largetable-545p.jpg

This "periodic table" of exoplanets, including confirmed planets as well as candidates from NASA's Kepler mission, places exoplanets into 18 categories based on mass and temperature. The numbers keep track of how many worlds are in which categories.

Habitable Exoplanets Catalog

To figure out which planets fit which categories, the catalog draws upon a variety of resources, including the Kepler database of candidates, the Extrasolar Planets Encyclopaedia, the Exoplanet Data Explorer, the Earth Similarity Index, the Habitable Zones Distance metric and the Global Primary Habitability index.

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#13 2011-12-07 18:56:23

louis
Member
From: UK
Registered: 2008-03-24
Posts: 3,939

Re: Kepler - telescope for detecting earth size exoplanets

Rune wrote:

http://www.spaceflightnow.com/news/n1112/05kepler/

NASA's Kepler space telescope has discovered a planet circling at just the right distance from another star, making for comfortable temperatures and supporting an environment for liquid water and possible life, scientists announced Monday.
Orbiting a star much like the sun, the planet is about 2.4 times the radius of Earth and has a year lasting about 290 days. But researchers need to know its mass, density and composition before declaring the planet Earth-like.

So, great news! First of many. This is what I got from the news conference (Video here for those that want to see it):

In this field, number 2 is the all important number, because we count one, two, infinity. As soon as we find a different, separate example of life somewhere else, we are going to know it's ubiquitous throughout the universe.

It sums up my feelings on it quite nicely, so I'll just use that and save on neurons. Go Kepler!


Rune. It's kind of an historic time to live in, right? On the verge of answering a very, very old question.


Great post Spacenut. That puts all those announcements in context. Thanks.

I wonder whether we'll be able to detect if any of the warm terrans have a moon like ours - seems possible if the moon is also passing before the earth-like planet. From what I have read our Moon played a rather crucial role in stabilising our planet's orbit and making the evolution of complex life forms far less problematical.

Last edited by louis (2011-12-07 18:57:35)


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#14 2018-07-08 15:21:47

SpaceNut
Administrator
From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 13,056

Re: Kepler - telescope for detecting earth size exoplanets

Another decade old plus mission....
NASA's Kepler Space Telescope Is Running Out of Fuel and May Not Have Much More Time

yqqbg954rb0q6xl9iuso.jpg

Kepler suffered a mechanical malfunction with its steering system in 2013, forcing scientists to develop a clever alternate plan in which they used pressure from the sun’s rays to act as a stand-in for one of its failed reaction wheels. This new phase, called K2, is imperfect, and NASA originally believed it would only allow for 10 observation campaigns with the remaining fuel. Yet it works, and allows Kepler to observe patches of space for roughly 83 days at a time. Per NASA, while the original Kepler mission discovered 2,244 candidate exoplanets and 2,327 confirmed exoplanets, the extended K2 mission has managed to identify 479 candidates and confirm 323 others. The craft is currently on its 18th K2 observation campaign.

NASA is unable to determine the exact amount of fuel left within Kepler, as there is no onboard gas gauge. However, since it is in deep space trailing the Earth’s orbit at roughly 94 million miles away, and there is no risk of it hitting another potentially life-bearing astronomical body such as an icy moon, the agency is free to keep working the spacecraft until it gives up and dies.


Sounds like its time to do refueling mission and repair using the deep space gateway....

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#15 2018-07-12 03:19:19

elderflower
Member
Registered: 2016-06-19
Posts: 929

Re: Kepler - telescope for detecting earth size exoplanets

It would certainly be cheaper to build and launch another one than to attempt capture, repair and refuelling of the present Kepler satellite. The experience gained with the existing Kepler craft could make a new development much more sensitive, more reliable and having a longer life.

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#16 2018-07-12 12:45:15

GW Johnson
Member
From: McGregor, Texas USA
Registered: 2011-12-04
Posts: 3,231
Website

Re: Kepler - telescope for detecting earth size exoplanets

If interplanetary transportation really is a realistic function of SLS/Orion,  and not just cis-lunar flight,  then a service mission to Kepler would be an excellent objective.  They will need a module that does what the old shuttle bay with its arm did. 

Personally,  I see nothing about SLS block 1B or block 2 with Orion that looks in the least capable of flying crews beyond cis-lunar space.  Certainly not block 1,  which cannot even reprise Apollo-8.

GW


GW Johnson
McGregor,  Texas

"There is nothing as expensive as a dead crew,  especially one dead from a bad management decision"

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#17 2018-07-12 17:30:58

SpaceNut
Administrator
From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 13,056

Re: Kepler - telescope for detecting earth size exoplanets

Thats a perfect solution with making a module with the capability of air lock, shuttle bay doors, a station robotic arm and such to be able to do just what you described for service of these telescopes and other satelites. This combination also would allow for capturing small rocks to boulders size pieces to bring back to earth for study as well. This does give the gateway to mars another test of ability.

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