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• Launch date:  6 March 2009

• Orbital insertion:  12 May 2009

• End of mission: 5 November 2018

• Agency: NASA

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Kepler is a space telescope designed to survey a portion of the Milky Way galaxy in search of Earth-size planets, including those where liquid water and possibly life might exist.

Using data from the mission, scientists hope to understand how common Earth-like planets are and assess the likelihood of finding a planet near our own that could support life.