Friday, March 6, 2009

Kepler Launch tonight!

The Kepler observatory sits atop a Delta II rocket at the Kennedy Space Center, ready for its launch tonight at about 10:49 EST. It's likely NASA TV will broadcast the launch live, as this is a fairly notably project. Kepler's mission is to spend over 3 years studying a specific section of our galaxy studying each suspect star very closely- for Earth-like planets!

Tonight's launch takes place from Complex 17-B, which launched its first Thor missile way back in 1957. Historical launches from this complex have included the Explorer and Pioneer satellites, and one of my favorites, Solar Max. The LC-17 complex (pads A and B) are operated by Air Force 45th Space Wing. The picture above shows the first stage of a Delta II rocket being lifted into position at the mobile service tower on pad 17-B.

Good Luck, Kepler!  

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