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Launch of NASA's planet-hunting satellite TESS postponed

Launch of NASA's planet-hunting satellite TESS postponed

The Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS), which will launch no earlier than 6:32 p.m. Monday at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida, will search for exoplanets - planets outside of our solar system - including those that could support life, NASA said in a blog post.

"NASA's Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite - TESS - will fly in an orbit that completes two circuits around Earth every time the Moon orbits once", the space agency explains.

'We learned from Kepler that there are more planets than stars in our sky, and now TESS will open our eyes to the variety of planets around some of the closest stars, ' said Paul Hertz, Astrophysics Division director at NASA's Headquarters.

Expecting the mission to span a minimum of two years, NASA expects TESS to survey 2,00,000 of the brightest stars outside our solar system to search for transiting exoplanets.

Launch of NASA's planet-hunting satellite TESS postponed
Launch of NASA's planet-hunting satellite TESS postponed

Tess' four cameras will zoom in on red dwarf stars in our cosmic backyard an average 10 times closer than the Kepler-observed stars. "Tess will find a pool of planets like that". However, the Kepler telescope was only able to resolve stars only in one specific area of space, about 0.28 percent of the entire sky, so it spied few nearby exoplanets.

The Article from NASA Plans To Launch The First Spacecraft That Will Touch The Sun. From that vantage point, TESS will keep tabs on 200,000 of the brightest stars in our celestial neighborhood, looking for the telltale changes in brightness that result when a planet crosses over the star's disk. Much more important, there are who-knows-how-many planets circling those stars, and there's at least a chance that there will be organisms on some of them that could smile for the camera. It spent years staring at stars in a small patch of the sky to look for a tell-tale dimming that meant a planet had passed by and blocked some of the starlight.

The planets found by TESS will be studied in depth by both scientists on Earth, as well as future space missions. Of these, astronomers estimate that the telescope should find about 500 Earth-sized, and "Super Earth" planets, a fair number of which should be within the habitable zones of their parent stars. This enabled researchers to discover even more exoplanets, understand the evolution of stars and gain insight about supernovae and black holes. SpaceX is targeting to run their first uncrewed test on their Dragon Capsule, this test flight will be known as Demo mission 1 (DM-1).

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