Sunday, May 11, 2008
"Kepler is NASA's first mission capable of detecting Earth-size and smaller planets in the habitable zone of solar-like stars. The spacecraft is planned to be launched from Kennedy Space Center in February 2009. The spacecraft will be launched into orbit around the Sun, not the Earth, with an orbital period of 372 days. The spacecraft will slowly drift away from the Earth, such that in about 25 years it will be half an Earth orbit away, 300 million kilometers distant from the Earth, passing behind the Sun as viewed from Earth.
When you submit your name, you may also chose to provide a message of 500 words or less of why you think the mission is important. A copy of the DVD with all of the names and messages will be given to the Smithsonian Institution’s National Air and Space Museum."