Monday, 20 August, 2018


Are we alone? NASA's new planet hunter aims to find out

In this image released by SpaceX NASA’ s Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite sits atop a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket at Space Launch Complex 40 Monday Are we alone? NASA's new planet hunter aims to find out
Melba Vasquez | 17 April, 2018, 01:33

NASA is set to launch the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) on Monday, starting a new chapter in the search for planets that could potentially support extraterrestrial life.

- Kepler vs. TESS - Kepler, the first planet-hunting mission of its kind, "was launched to answer one single question: How common is a planet like Earth around a star like the Sun?" said Patricia "Padi" Boyd, director of the TESS guest investigator program at NASA's Goddard Spaceflight Center. The Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite is NASA's next mission in the search for exoplanets, or planets that are outside our solar system. A science team devoted to TESS at MIT aims to measure the masses of at least 50 small exoplanets that have a radius of less than four times that of Earth - an ideal dimension that could suggest habitability.

TESS the planet hunter is getting ready to launch Monday.

TESS will find signals of planet candidates, Seager said. "We expect to find a whole range of planet sizes, between planets the size of Mercury or even the Moon-our Moon-to planets the same size as Jupiter and everything in between", Still said in a NASA interview.

TESS was encapsulated inside the Falcon 9 rocket's payload shroud last week in preparation for its transfer to SpaceX's rocket hangar at Cape Canaveral's Complex 40 launch pad.

This image made available by NASA shows an illustration of the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite. Scheduled for an April 2018 launch the spacecraft will prowl for planets around the closest brightest stars. These newfound worlds eventually

By NASA [Public domain], via Wikimedia CommonsNASA will carefully use the new TESS satellite to keep an eye on 200,000 of the closest stars in the galaxy.

The data will be collected during a two-year period in which TESS will survey the entire sky by breaking it into 26 equal sectors. These are planets outside of the Milky Way that orbit other stars. There are far more planets in the Milky Way than there are stars. They will also be able to parse out some important details about each new planet, like its size and how it orbits its star.

The much-anticipated launch is scheduled for 6:32 p.m. EDT (22:32 GMT), Space.com reports, and will be covered on NASA TV as early as 6 p.m. "You don't really have an image", Ricker said.

GREENFIELDBOYCE: She says they've got to start looking somewhere, and TESS will tell them where.

According to U.S. Air Force 45th Space Wing meteorologists, there is "an 80 percent chance of favorable weather for liftoff", the NASA TESS Mission announced on April 14.

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