The Kepler mission: A technical overview

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

Research output: Contribution to journalConference article

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 1 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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    Borucki, W., Koch, D., Boss, A., Dunham, E., Dupree, A., Geary, J., Gilliland, R. L., Howell, S., Jenkins, J., Kondo, Y., Latham, D., Lissauer, J., & Reitsema, H. (2003). The Kepler mission: A technical overview. European Space Agency, (Special Publication) ESA SP, (538), 177-182.