Nasa Begins Search For Earth Twin

05.15.09 | FL News Team

The search is officially underway for another planet Earth. On March 6th, Nasa successfully launched the Kepler Mission. A specially crafted, $591 million probe designed to peer deep into space with just one task: Stare at about 100-thousand stars roughly three-thousand light years away, looking for the "blink" that would be caused by a planet in orbit around a star.

In early April a dust cover was ejected from the long lens of the probe and testing began. On Wednesday the official planet hunt was started. Kepler will spend the next three-and-a-half years viewing, sorting and sending data back to Earth.

NASA says the first discoveries are likely to be very large planets in close orbits around their suns. Those finds could be announced early next year. The ultimate goal is to identify planets like ours, able to support oceans or lakes and perhaps even -- life. More mission information is available on the NASA website at