Trent J. Perrotto
Headquarters, Washington

Michele Johnson
Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, Calif.

Dec. 1, 2011
NASA Announcing Kepler Discoveries at Science Conference
MOFFETT FIELD, Calif. -- NASA will host a news briefing at 8 a.m. PST, Monday, Dec. 5, to announce new discoveries by the Kepler mission. The briefing, during the Kepler Science Conference, will be in building 152 at NASA's Ames Research Center at Moffett Field, Calif.

Kepler is the first NASA mission capable of finding Earth-size planets in or near the "habitable zone," the region in a planetary system where liquid water can exist on the surface of an orbiting planet. Kepler is detecting planets and possible candidates with a wide range of sizes and orbital distances to help scientists better understand our place in the galaxy.

The briefing will provide an update on the statistical findings since Kepler's Feb. 1, 2011, science data release and introduce a new confirmed planetary discovery. The briefing participants are:

-- Pete Worden, center director, Ames Research Center
-- Natalie Batalha, Kepler deputy science team lead at Ames
-- Bill Borucki, Kepler principal investigator at Ames
-- Jill Tarter, director of the Center for SETI Research, SETI Institute, Mountain View, Calif.

Following the news briefing, the inaugural Kepler Science Conference opens and runs from Dec. 5 - 9 at Ames to highlight past scientific results.

More than 90 presentations on exoplanet science and stellar astrophysics will highlight the conference. Attendees will have an opportunity to hear more than 110 scientific presentations. There is a welcoming reception planned for participants on Sunday, Dec. 4, from 5 to 7 p.m.

News media planning to attend the news briefing or the conference must contact Michele Johnson at 650-604-4789 or to register. For news media unable to attend in person, a dial-in number will be provided. The news briefing will not be streamed.

Ames manages Kepler's ground system development, mission operations and science data analysis. NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif., managed Kepler mission development.

Ball Aerospace and Technologies Corp. in Boulder, Colo., developed the Kepler flight system and supports mission operations with JPL for Atmospheric and Space Physics at the University of Colorado in Boulder.

The Space Telescope Science Institute in Baltimore archives, hosts and distributes the Kepler science data. Kepler is NASA's 10th Discovery Mission and is funded by NASA's Science Mission Directorate at the agency's headquarters.

A live stream of the Kepler Science Conference will be available at:

For information about the Kepler Science Conference, visit:

For information about the Kepler Mission, visit:

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