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NASA's TESS mission in distress, Mars Express restart is a success

17 April, 2018, 15:28 | Author: Heidi Alvarez
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NASA in a blog post said that the Tess spacecraft is in excellent health, and remains ready for launch. It also used the "transit technique" to confirm more than 2,000 so-called exoplanets.

However, TESS will observe stars 30 to 100 times brighter than those observed by the Kepler mission and enable efficient follow-up studies.

The $337 million (roughly Rs. 2,200 crores) 2-year TESS mission is created to build on the work of the Kepler space telescope which discovered the bulk of the documented 3,700 exoplanets in the past 20 years.

TESS team partners include the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the Kavli Institute for Astrophysics and Space Research, Nasa's Goddard Space Flight Center, MIT's Lincoln Laboratory, Orbital ATK, Nasa's Ames Research Center, the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, and the Space Telescope Science Institute.

The spacecraft will be looking for a phenomenon known as a transit, where a planet passes in front of its star, causing a periodic and regular dip in the star's brightness.

Nasa predicts that TESS could find more than 50 Earth-sized planets and up to 500 planets less than twice the size of the Earth.

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Among the new discoveries, they hope, will be a rocky world with an atmosphere that can be probed for signs of life.

"But since then, we have found thousands of planets orbiting others stars and we think all the stars in our galaxy must have their own family of planets". It will divide the sky into 26 different sectors and monitor each for at least 27 days in order to cover the complete zone.

This variability is a outcome of resonances in the outer layers of the stars, and it allows the British professor to pull out a lot of extra information. We can say how massive they are and how old they are.

By focusing on planets dozens to hundreds of light-years way, TESS may enable future breakthroughs, he said.

This highly-elliptical orbit will help maximize TESS's field of vision, making it possible for the satellite's four cameras to image up to 85 percent of the sky. Christiansen said. "We can resolve competing theories about how planets form". "TESS is kind of like a scout", said Natalia Guerrero, deputy manager of TESS Objects of Interest, an MIT-led effort that will catalogue objects captured in TESS data that may be potential exoplanets.

Sure enough, after an hour, the spacecraft restarted, re-orientated itself and sent a message back to Earth that it was alive and well.

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