What Are the Objectives of the Mission?
The scientific objective of the mission is to explore the planetary systems, their structures and range. The main focus will be to detect and characterize Earth-size planets by surveying beyond our solar system. The survey will help to detect hundreds of large and terrestrial planets in or near the “habitable zone" of a star. The “habitable zone" is defined by NASA scientists as “the distance from a star where liquid water can exist on a planet's surface".
Important Objectives of the Kepler Mission
The following are the six important objectives or goals explained in brief (Courtesy: NASA's Kepler Mission Website). The Kepler Mission will try to determine:
1. The frequency of large and earth-type planets near the habitable zone of various stars
2. The approximate orbital distribution of the planets as well as the number of planets in the multiple-stellar system
3. The range of orbit size, mass, brightness and density of short-period extrasolar giant planets
4. The properties of those stars that shelter planetary systems. Properties that are to be determined include the luminosity class, spectral type, the rate at which the star rotates, surface brightness and stellar activity.
5. The distribution of shapes and sizes of orbits of terrestrial and large planets