NASA, SpaceX set to launch planet-hunting satellite

17 April, 2018, 10:11 | Author: Regina Silva
  • Boring Company tunnel

2 April space, the company performed a successful launch of the Falcon 9 rocket with the spacecraft Dragon, who managed to deliver to the ISS the 2.6 MT of cargo.

Expecting the mission to span a minimum of two years, NASA expects TESS to survey 2,00,000 of the brightest stars outside our solar system to search for transiting exoplanets. It will do this by monitoring more than 200,000 bright host stars.

NASA's newest planet-hunting spacecraft will have to wait another couple of days before lifting off.

TESS is designed as a follow-on to the United States space agency's Kepler spacecraft, which was the first of its kind and launched in 2009.

NASA says TESS could help answer the age-old question: Are we alone in the universe?

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Thousands of exoplanets have already been discovered.

Even in terms of sky-area coverage, TESS goes way beyond Kepler.

"By looking at such a large section of the sky - this kind of stellar real estate - we open up the ability to cherry-pick the best stars to do follow-up science", said Jenn Burt, a postdoctoral fellow at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). They measure tiny dips in a star's brightness that could indicate a planetary body passing in front of the camera's line of sight.

This rocket is also the final block 4 version before SpaceX starts using block 5 versions with upgraded engines and improvements to increase the reusability of the rocket.

"Tess will find small planets, rocky planets that might have atmospheres and features that may be conducive to life", Buzasi said.

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