NASA has awarded a contract, potentially worth $28.4 million, to Ball Aerospace and Technology to develop the optics and detectors for a high-technology camera on the Kepler planet-hunter spacecraft to be launched in 2007. Eastman Kodak will provide the optical subsystem under a $4.5 million contract. The camera will provide an extremely wide field-of-view, allowing Kepler to gaze continuously at more than 100,000 stars simultaneously. Almost 100 suspected planets have already been detected orbiting other stars using Earthbound telescopes.

Source: Flight International