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SpaceX Is About to Launch NASA's Latest Satellite

17 April 2018

TESS is slated to launch from Cape Canaveral, Florida, at 6:32 p.m. EDT on April 16 aboard a 230-foot-tall Falcon 9 rocket. That's why NASA, Massachusetts Institute of Technology and and other collaborators are targeting stars within hundreds or, at most, thousands of light-years: It will make the detailed searches yet to come that much easier.

Stephen Rinehart, TESS's project scientist, said of the mission: "There are some people on the mission who are very, very, very keen to find Earth-sized planets in the habitable zones of their host stars, and that would be absolutely fabulous".

With the help of a gravitational assist from the Moon, the spacecraft will settle into a 13.7-day orbit around Earth, NASA said in an earlier statement. These are planets orbiting stars outside our solar system. The frequency of each faint flicker will indicate the planet's size and its distance from the star. "This is the future". TESS, like its predecessor Kepler, is to track down planets outside our solar system. SpaceX is applying for a full license - but there shouldn't be any issues with watching TESS online, since it's a NASA-funded spacecraft. The aging spacecraft is now low on fuel and near the end of its life.

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With this method, the NASA Space Telescope Kepler had already identified more than 5,000 exoplanet candidates between 2009 and 2013, 2512 were confirmed as genuine. Well, you were born many generations too soon. Its four wide-angle cameras are set to survey about 85 percent of the sky during the first two years of its mission.

George Ricker, TESS principal investigator at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, said: 'TESS is equipped with four very sensitive cameras that will be able to monitor almost the entire sky. Four wide-view cameras are surrounded by a sun shade, to keep stray light out as they monitor any dips in brightness from target stars.

The satellite will seek to find exoplanets that have the most promising conditions for supporting life, NASA said.

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This Monday, a new space telescope is traveling. After its two-year mission, TESS will be replaced by the James Webb Space Telescope, a space telescope scheduled to launch in May 2020. "We're going to be able study individual planets and start talking about the differences between planets". If a TESS planet has an atmosphere, these instruments may be able to sense the way it alters the starlight that filters through it.

While Kepler affirmed around 2,300 exoplanets and thousands of more potential planet applicants, numerous were excessively inaccessible and diminish, making it impossible to be examined further.

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SpaceX Is About to Launch NASA's Latest Satellite