No I'm only kidding about the Twelve Colonies part, which are fiction. But the space probe is real and it's called COROT.
Inexpensive as space telescopes go, COROT was launched after Christmas, 2006.
COROT's not so little mission:
The COROT instrument will make it possible, with a method called stellar seismology, to probe the inner structure of the stars, as well as to detect many extrasolar planets, by observing the periodic micro-eclipses occurring when these bodies transit in front of their parent star.
By its high photometric performances and its observing runs covering five months without interruption, the COROT experiment aims to be a pioneer mission in the discovery of telluric extrasolar planets, bodies with properties comparable to those of the rocky planets of the solar system. Its launch was successful on december 27th, 2006.
We should start to see data from COROT come back soon.
NASA has a similar mission planned called Kepler.
Kepler's launch is planned for October of 2008. I'm very excited about all of this. Kepler will be powerful enough to detect earth sized worlds...and possibly other Earth-like planets. So maybe, they will discover Kobol.