PASADENA, Calif. — NASA will hold a media briefing on Thursday, Feb. 19 at 10 a.m. Pacific Time (1 p.m. Eastern Time) to discuss the upcoming Kepler mission, the first spacecraft with the ability to find Earth-size planets orbiting stars like our sun in a zone where liquid water could exist. The televised briefing will take place at NASA Headquarters, 300 E St. S.W., Washington.

Kepler is scheduled to launch March 5 from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla.

Los Angeles area media are invited to JPL to watch the briefing via satellite and ask questions. Media must RSVP in advance to JPL Media Relations at 818-354-5011. Valid media credentials are required; non-U.S. citizens must also bring passports. Reporters may also ask questions by telephone. To reserve a telephone line, contact J.D. Harrington by e-mail at .

Briefing participants include:

— Jon Morse, NASA’s Astrophysics Division Director, NASA Headquarters, Washington
— William Borucki, Kepler Science Principal Investigator, NASA Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, Calif.
— Jim Fanson, Kepler Project Manager, NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif.
— Debra Fischer, Professor of Astronomy, San Francisco State University, Calif.

Kepler is a NASA Discovery mission. NASA’s Ames Research Center is the home organization of the Science Principal Investigator and is responsible for the ground system development, mission operations and science data analysis. Kepler mission development is managed by NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif. Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp., Boulder, Colo., is responsible for developing the Kepler flight system and supporting mission operations.

More information about NASA TV downlink and streaming video is at . More information about the Kepler mission is at .