Unlocked the habitable universe

Kepler was specifically designed to survey a portion of our region of the Milky Way galaxy to discover planets in or near the habitable zone of their stars and determine how many of the billions of stars in our galaxy have such planets. Results from this mission have allowed us to place our solar system within the continuum of planetary systems in the Galaxy. Kepler has collected a treasure trove of data for science that will be mined for many years to come.

Mission Class:

Larger Missions

Mission Status:


LASP Roles:

Mission Operations

Science Target:


Mission Focus:

Exoplanets, Interplanetary Space

Launch Date: March 6, 2009
Decommission Date: October 30, 2018
Mission Duration: 9.5 years

Lead Institution: NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory

Lead Funding Agency: NASA’s Discovery Program 

Partners: NASA Ames Research Center, NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Ball Aerospace, SETI Institute, Lawrence Hall of Science, Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory, Space Telescope Science Institute