The Kepler mission: A technical overview

W. Borucki, D. Koch, A. Boss, E. Dunham, A. Dupree, J. Geary, R. Gilliland, S. Howell, J. Jenkins, Y. Kondo, D. Latham, J. Lissauer, H. Reitsema

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


The Kepler mission is a NASA Discovery-class mission designed to continuously monitor the brightness of 100 000 main sequence stars to detect the transits of Earth-size and larger planets. It is a wide field of view photometer with a Schmidt-type telescope and an array of 42 CCDs covering the 100 sq. deg. Field of View (FOV). It has a 0.95 m aperture and a 1.4 m primary and is designed to attain a photometric precision of 2 parts in 10 5 for V = 12 solar-like stars for a 6-hour transit duration. It will continuously observe 100000 stars from V = 9 to V = 15 in the Cygnus constellation for a period of four years with a cadence of 4 per hour. An additional 250 stars can be monitored at a cadence of once per minute to address asteroseismology of stars brighter than V = 11.5. The photometer is scheduled to be launched into heliocentric orbit in 2007. A ground-based program to classify all 450000 stars to V = 15 in the FOV and to conduct a detailed examination of a subset of the stars that show planetary companions is also planned.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)177-182
Number of pages6
JournalEuropean Space Agency, (Special Publication) ESA SP
Issue number538
StatePublished - Apr 2003
EventSecond Eddington Workshop - Stellar Structure and Habitable Planet Finding - Palermo, Italy
Duration: Apr 9 2003Apr 11 2003

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Aerospace Engineering
  • Space and Planetary Science


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