Kepler space telescope mission extension proposal

Artist's conception of the Kepler-16 system, where the planet Kepler-16b orbits two binary stars, much like Tatooine from Star Wars. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/R. Hurt

Some potentially good news for exoplanet fans, and Kepler fans in particular – Kepler scientists are asking for a mission extension and seem reasonably confident they will get it. Otherwise, funding is due to run out in November of 2012. It is crucial that Kepler receive renewed funding in order to continue its already incredibly successful search for planets orbiting other stars. Its primary goal — and the holy grail of exoplanet research — is finding worlds that are about the size of Earth, orbiting in the “habitable zone” of stars that are similar to our Sun, where temperatures could allow liquid water on their surfaces…

See Universe Today for the full article.