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Post Info TOPIC: Corot Space Telescope


L

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RE: Corot Space Telescope
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The COROT satellite has completed an important step in its 5-week launch campaign after fuelling up for its almost 3-year mission. Launch is currently scheduled for 21 December from the Baikonur cosmodrome, in Kazakhstan.
Following its arrival 15 November at the Baikonur Cosmodrome, COROT was immediately transferred to the MIK 112 integration and test building, where it will remain until shortly before launch.

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The launch of COROT on 21 December 2006 is a long awaited event in the quest to find planets beyond our Solar System. Searching from above the Earth's atmosphere, COROT the CNES project with ESA participation - will be the first space mission specifically dedicated to the search for extrasolar planets.

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The COROT space telescope is proceeding smoothly towards its launch in December 2006. Once in orbit, COROT will become the first spacecraft devoted to the search for rocky planets, similar to our own Earth.
COROT will also delve into the centres of hundreds or even thousands of stars.
COROT will lead a bold new search for planets around other stars. In the decade since the discovery of the first exoplanet, 51 Pegasi b in 1995, more than 200 other planets have been detected from ground-based observatories. COROT promises to find many more during its two-and-a-half-year mission, and to expand the frontiers of our knowledge toward ever smaller planets. It will look for the tiny drop in light caused by a planet as it slips across the face of its parent star.

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The Corot Space Telescope has completed its electromagnetic compatibility and vibration testing successfully and remains on schedule for launch this October.

The mini-satellite, carries a 1.1-meter telescope equipped with a 4-CCD wide-field camera.

It is expected observe at least 120,000 stars during its two-and-a-half-year primary mission, detecting extremely tiny variations in their brightness that could provide clues about their mass, age and chemical composition. Corot also will search for planets in the same size and temperature range as Earth.

The spacecraft will be launched into a circular polar orbit at an altitude of about 900 kilometres - via a CNES Proteus platform atop a Russian Soyuz 2-1B rocket from Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. The orbit will enable Corot to focus on a fixed part of the sky for more than 150 days at a time.

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