Exoplanetology is going to outer space. Yes, hitchin' a ride to space with the Kepler spacecraft. Haven't been able to take off and yet I already have the certificate to prove it. So what the heck is Kepler? Who the heck is Kepler?
Johannes Kepler was a German mathematician, astronomer and astrologer, and key figure in the 17th century Scientific revolution.
The Kepler Mission is a space photometer being developed by NASA to search for Earth-like planets orbiting other stars. It will be launched on March 5, 2009. So you can expect Earth's "twin" to make waves in the news shortly after that date, when Earth-like planets finally get discovered. Until then I will continue to stare at my certificate framed on the wall of my bedroom.
By the way, did I mention that you can get your name out into space, too and get your certificate as well? All the space-bound names will be stored on a DVD and rocketed into space on board the Kepler spacecraft. Just head over to this page and write a very good message or reason why Kepler is important. A copy of the DVD with all of the names and messages will be given to the Smithsonian Institution’s National Air and Space Museum. I sure hope they don't put it on Blu-ray because i dont have a blu-ray DVD player yet. I'm sure the aliens do. So make sure you write your hello message in good Klingon. Below is the message I wrote. Can anyone please translate it into Klingon:
"To discover the origin and future of life, and to find out mankind's place in the universe. Knowledge worth knowing within one's own lifetime, a simple truth worth knowing by an entire civilization."
Messages of Kepler
Kepler Official Website