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Kepler’s Launch

Kepler's Launch
Liftoff of the Delta II rocket carrying the Kepler spacecraft.

03.06.09 – On March 6, 2009 at 10:49:57 p.m. EST Kepler blasted off into the darkness aboard a Delta II rocket from Launch Complex 17-B at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida on a quest to find potentially habitable worlds. Click on the image to view full-size and imagine the spectacle, the anticipation, the rush of excitement as the spacecraft lifted off on that Friday night. Humankind had embarked on what would be a significant step closer to answering the question: Are We Alone?

Watch the launch beginning at T-minus 80 seconds:

Image credit: NASA/Kim Shiflett