Sunday, 22 April, 2018


Falcon 9 Second Stage Recovery Requires 'Giant Party Balloon'

Dragon Resupply Mission (CRS-14) | SpaceX Searching for new worlds
Conrad Doyle | 17 April, 2018, 11:55

TESS's job is to spot distant planets when they pass in front of even more distant stars, a movement known to astronomers as a "transit".

Regular dips in the brightness of stars could indicate orbiting planets.

The launch will be broadcast on NASA website or on its live YouTube stream which you will find below. We've already seen the first-stage return to Earth and land, but now Elon Musk wants to get the second stage back, too.

That's right. Forget the extra mass for a heat shield and engines, just use a giant balloon to slowly drop the second stage back down to Earth! These mysterious worlds beyond our solar system, called exoplanets, could harbor life.

Described as being similar to Luke Skywalker's Tatooine, this planet orbits a pair of stars.

The Kepler mission found 2,300 confirmed exoplanets, and thousands more candidate planets.

This so-called "rogue planet" doesn't orbit a parent sun.

The wonders of space can be hard for people to grasp because it sometimes comes across as just data, said Joby Harris, also a visual strategist with NASA.

"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). In fact, SpaceX will try to recover the payload fairings again today (April 16) when it launches a Falcon 9 carrying NASA's next exoplanet-hunting space telescope, the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite.

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