NASA's planet-hunting Kepler mission turns six years old today. The space telescope was launched the night of March 6, 2009 from Florida's Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. The $600-million dollar mission has since become one of the most prolific – and cost-effective – scientific missions in history.

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Curious as to how cost effective it is. Could start by calculating the cost it took per planet discovered before Kepler. Papers published from this one mission? The Mars rovers may give Kepler a run for the money there.