Are there planets similar to Earth orbiting other stars like our Sun? The Kepler Mission spend four years on a quest to find the evidence. Since the discovery of the first extrasolar, or exo, planet in 1995 and more than 1,900 giant planets orbiting other stars since then, excitement about the possibility of small exoplanets has been building.

Kepler is a space-based telescope designed to search for Earth-size planets in orbit around Sun-like stars. It’s the first mission capable of detecting smaller rocky planets in or near a star’s habitable zone – that region where liquid water may exist, increasing the probability of life.