CoRoT (Convection, Rotation and planetary Transits) is the first space mission dedicated to exoplanetary research and designed for this purpose. The spacecraft is equipped with a 27 cm-diameter afocal telescope and a 4-CCD wide-field camera, is built around the PROTEUS spacecraft bus, and operates in a low-Earth orbit (LEO) of ~900 km (polar). Launched in December 2006 the mission had a nominal lifetime of 2.5 years, subsequently extended until 31 March 2013, during which time it will study stellar interiors and search for exoplanets. The project is led by CNES, with contributions from ESA, Austria, Belgium, Germany, Spain and Brazil.


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Project image credit: ESA.