The DVD on the Kepler Telescope
Kepler Mission is a NASA space telescope designed to discover Earth-like
planets orbiting other stars. Using a space photometer developed by NASA,
it will observe the brightness of over 100,000 stars over 3.5 years to
detect periodic transits of a star by its planets (the transit method
of detecting planets). The mission is named in honor of German astronomer
The Kepler Mission Names in Space was a great success. Almost 60,000 people registered for Kepler's Names in Space project. Many provided a statement on their views about the value of the mission and space exploration. The names and statements were burned onto a DVD in early December, 2008. The DVD was installed onto the Kepler spacecraft at Ball Aerospace Technologies Corporation in Boulder CO. A copy of the DVD was given to the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum as a historical record of public opinion about Kepler and space exploration.
The spacecraft was transported to NASA's Kennedy Space Center in early 2009 to prepare for launch. Kepler was launched on March 6 and began science observations on May 13, 2009.