Satellite launches USQ's leading space mission role

Satellite launches USQ's leading space mission role

Satellite launches USQ's leading space mission role

NASA's planet-hunting space telescope has embarked on its quest to find new worlds, launching after two days of delays as a result of a rocket-guidance glitch.

Kepler, which now runs out of fuel and stops operating by the end of 2018, has already found more than 5,000 candidate exoplanets, of which about half have been confirmed by other telescopes. The first stage of the Falcon was reported to have landed on the drone ship "Of Course I Still Love You in the Atlantic".

NASA's Tess spacecraft has blasted off from Earth in a search for new planets that could support life. The moon's gravity will help get the satellite in the right orbit and keep it there.

On Wednesday, NASA's newest space telescope TESS sprinted to orbit and within about two months it will begin identifying exoplanets. To find out, researchers built a satellite called TESS to make long, sweeping scans of space in search of objects that could harbor life. Like with other satellites, imagery from TESS will be used to analyze the possible characteristics of planets and their atmospheres.

The scientists behind this mission are of the popular belief that the key factor in this field will be the successor to Hubble which is due to be in orbit by 2020.

'Tess will tell us where to look at and when to look, ' said the mission's chief scientist, George Ricker of Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

"TESS forms kind of a bridge between what we've learned about exoplanets to date and where we're headed in the future", said Jeff Volosin, TESS project manager at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center, at the pre-launch press conference. "We just had a ideal countdown and flawless launch of the TESS mission", said Tim Dunn of NASA's Launch Services Program.

It will then switch to the northern sky during the second year, ultimately covering around 85 per cent of the sky.

TESS will observe "transits", or the phenomena when a planet passes in front of its star, changing the star's brightness.

Through the TESS Guest Investigator Program, the worldwide scientific community will be able to conduct research beyond TESS's core mission in areas ranging from exoplanet characterization to stellar astrophysics, distant galaxies and solar system science. It has also identified almost two-thirds of the total of approximately 3,700 confirmed exoplanets to date. No one is looking forward to losing what has been the most successful planet-finder in history-a mission that revealed there are more planets in the sky than stars.

Although TESS's planet detection method is identical to Kepler's, the just-launched instrument will observe stars 10 times closer and 100 times brighter than those observed by its predecessor.

Related news