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An international team of scientists using the CoRoT (Convection, Rotation and Transits) space telescope, operated by the French space agency CNES, last year discovered 10 new planets including one that's just 10s of million years young (for planets), a Saturn-like planet, and two others that resemble Neptune.
Students from MIT participated in a three-semester program where they built a small satellite called "CubeSat" which is designed to explore and study exoplanets. Because CubeSats are so small, said to be about as long as a skateboard, they can easily fit hitch a ride rockets carrying larger payloads. The first CubeSat should be ready for launch in 2012.