TESS, NASA’s Newest Planet Hunter, Is Launching

TESS, NASA’s Newest Planet Hunter, Is Launching

There’s a terrific world subsequent door. Let’s go.

The seek for alien worlds and maybe alien life will take one other step outward on Monday when TESS, the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite, is launched into orbit across the Earth. TESS will spend at the very least two years scrutinizing the complete sky for exoplanets — planets round different stars — inside about 300 gentle years from right here. The worlds subsequent door.

When is the launch and the way can I watch it?

The launch is presently scheduled for six:32.07 p.m. EDT on Monday. It may possibly considered on NASA’s web site nasa.gov/live, with reside protection scheduled to start at 6 p.m.

SpaceX, whose rocket will carry TESS into house, anticipated favorable climate circumstances for the launch.

Why is the TESS mission essential?

Over the past 30 years, astronomers on Earth and in house, utilizing devices just like the Kepler spacecraft, have found 4,000 exoplanets, most of them far, far-off. The galaxy, they now suppose, has more planets than stars in it. TESS will discover the closest of those planets to Earth, pinpointing targets for the subsequent technology of telescopes, just like the James Webb House Telescope, in house to check for clues to their habitability and even inhabitants.

TESS is sponsored by NASA, as a part of its small Astrophysics Explorer missions. The spacecraft was designed by a collaboration led by George Ricker of the Massachusetts Institute of Know-how and constructed by Orbital ATK of Dulles, Va. It will likely be launched in a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket.

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