TESS to gear up NASA’s planet exploration program will replace Kepler satellite

Kepler spacecraft, NASA, Exoplanet

Since many years NASA has been searching exoplanets that capable of supporting life. But, for some reason, the process was ruing slow. As per the new report, the search process will resume in next week as NASA is now working to send the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) into orbit. A SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket will be blasted off from the Kennedy Space Center, Florida carrying the TESS.  The launch will be conducted in between 16th April and June.

Kepler spacecraft, NASA, Exoplanet

The TESS will work like the Kepler space telescope, which is 20 years has discovered around 3,500 exoplanets. Now it is expected that the TESS will discover thousands of more exoplanets and some Earth-like planets. It is believed that such planets might have rocky surfaces, oceans and other particles which can support life. TESS may have discovered 10 to 30 such planets for further study. TESS will arrive it’s highly elliptical in around 60 days.

The old exoplanet exploration satellite, Kepler lost its positioning system in 2013. A few days ago some reports also informed that the satellite is now running out of fuel. So, this is the perfect time to send TESS into space.  

Paul Hertz, NASA’s director of astrophysics, stated, “it’s perfect timing that we’ll be launching TESS to continue the great activity of looking for planets around stars.” TESS carries four special cameras which will examine around 2,00,000 stars situated near the sun.  The satellite will search for periodic and visible lights from stars using transit photometry method, the same process Kepler was using. It will give more attention to red dwarfs.

TESS science director for the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, David Latham stated that red dwarfs have a high propensity for Earth-sized planet which makes them the best ground for closer examination.  It may not discover life outside Earth but will provide the clue where to focus larger and powerful telescopes.



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