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techkenyot.com May 25, 2018


Nasa's planet hunting probe launch delayed

17 April 2018, 03:29 | Henrietta Morgan

Nasa's planet hunting probe launch delayed

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A Guidance and Navigation Control (GNC) issue scuppered last night's Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) launch atop a SpaceX Falcon 9.

TESS will dispatch on a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket from the company's Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida.

The satellite, TESS, is the US space agency's newest planet-hunting spacecraft that will search for undiscovered planets outside of our solar system, known as exoplanets.

NASA expects to pinpoint thousands more previously unknown worlds, perhaps hundreds of them Earth-sized or "super-Earth"-sized - no larger than twice as big as our home planet".

In a two-year survey of the solar neighborhood, TESS will monitor more than 200,000 stars for temporary drops in brightness caused by planetary transits.

SpaceX launch delayed, rescheduled for Wednesday
They measure tiny dips in a star's brightness that could indicate a planetary body passing in front of the camera's line of sight. The Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite, or TESS, is scheduled for liftoff at 6:32 p.m. with a 30-second launch window.

Tess will build a catalogue of nearby, bright stars and their planets that other telescopes can then follow up. These mysterious worlds beyond our solar system, called exoplanets, could harbor life.

Astronomers are excited by the idea that TESS will give them a massive new catalog of relatively-easy-to-study planets beyond our solar system.

Even in terms of sky-area coverage, TESS goes way beyond Kepler.

The much-anticipated launch of NASA's newest exoplanet hunter has been rescheduled, the US space agency announced in a brief news release.

TESS has been created to hunt for exoplanets orbiting around stars in Earth's immediate neighbourhood.

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The ultimate goal is to find small, probably rocky planets orbiting in a sweet spot around stars that's not too hot, and not too cold.

The $337 million (roughly Rs. 2,200 crores) 2-year TESS mission is created to build on the work of the Kepler space telescope which discovered the bulk of the documented 3,700 exoplanets in the past 20 years.

"We can measure the stars' fundamental properties".

Sixty days after the launch and following tests of its instruments, the satellite will begin its initial two-year mission. Christiansen said. "We can resolve competing theories about how planets form".

This highly-elliptical orbit will help maximize TESS's field of vision, making it possible for the satellite's four cameras to image up to 85 percent of the sky.

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In addition to its search for exoplanets, TESS will allow scientists from the wider community to request targets for astrophysics research on approximately 20,000 additional objects during the mission through its Guest Investigator programme.



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