NASA TV Updates Launch Coverage for Planet-Hunting Mission TESS

19 Abril, 2018, 00:56 | Author: Enrique Watson
  • Solar panels are deployed on NASA's TESS satellite in the Payload Hazardous Servicing Facility at Kennedy Space Center

SpaceX has rescheduled the launch of NASA's Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite, or TESS, for Wednesday at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station.

NASA and SpaceX are gearing up again to launch the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite, or TESS - and if all goes as planned, you can pick from two streaming-video channels for watching liftoff.

Depending on available light, NASA can determine the size of the star as well as its planets and the length of orbits, which can give an indication of the planet's proximity to the star, which in turn can help experts determine the conditions on that planet and the chance of it supporting life.

NASA estimates that TESS will detect more than 20,000 planets over the course of its two-year primary mission.

TESS is created to concentrate on stars less than 300 light-years away.

The TESS mission is created to build on the work of its predecessor, the Kepler space telescope, which has discovered the bulk of some 3,700 exoplanets documented during the past 20 years and is running out of fuel.

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"One of the many fantastic things that Kepler told us is that planets are everywhere and there are all kinds of planets out there".

TESS will concentrate on stars called red dwarfs, smaller, cooler and longer-lived than our sun. Kepler has identified 2,650 exoplanets to date, which is more than 70 percent of all known, alien worlds.

The Hubble Space Telescope and the James Webb Space Telescope, scheduled to launch in 2020, should be able to reveal more about planets' mass, density and the makeup of their atmosphere - all clues to habitability.

It may be decades before astronomers know whether or not life exists elsewhere.

"TESS is opening a door for a whole new kind of study", said Stephen Rinehart, TESS project scientist at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, which manages the mission.

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