The recently activated Kepler Mission is already paying off great dividends. The deep space observatory has reportedly found up to 140 planets that may be habitable, Earth-like bodies. This is just after six weeks on the job.
These are but a part of over 700 new planets identified by the mission.
Dimitar Sasselov, professor of astronomy at Harvard University and a scientist on the Kepler Mission, noted “The figures suggest our galaxy, the Milky Way [which has more than 100 billion stars] will contain 100 million habitable planets, and soon we will be identifying the first of them.”
What is most revealing for me is how programs like Kepler yield such fantastic results — an argument against the massive cuts imposed on NASA by the Obama Administration. These programs cost a tiny fraction of what we spend in Iraq and Afghanistan. Like national parks, it appears that our most successful programs are the first to be cut by politicians because they lack a powerful lobby in Washington.
Source: Daily Mail