The COROT space telescope doesn’t start scientific observations until February, but the protective cover of the 30 centimeter instrument has now been opened. So far so good. A preliminary calibration exercise — using the constellation of the Unicorn near Orion — delivers data of excellent quality. This news from the European Space Agency should keep exoplanet hunters primed as the search for transiting worlds takes to space. A diagram of COROT’s interesting orbit can be found here.