The Kepler Mission is a space-based mission whose primary goal is to determine the frequency of Earth-size and larger planets in the habitable zone of solar-like stars. The mission will monitor more than 100,000 stars for patterns of transits with a differential photometric precision of 20 ppm at V = 12 for a 6.5 hour transit. It will also provide asteroseismic results on several thousand dwarf stars. It is specifically designed to continuously observe a single field of view of greater than 100 square degrees for 3.5 or more years.
This paper provides a short overview of the mission, a brief history of the mission development, expected results, new investigations by the recently chosen Participating Scientists, and the plans for the Guest Observer and Astrophysical Data Programs.