Watch launch of TESS planet-hunting mission April 16


The deputy manager of the TESS Objects of Interest project, Natalia Guerrero said that a lot of the stars that Kepler found exoplanets around were extremely faint and really far away that made them really hard to follow up on from the ground, hence, TESS came about to be even more useful to the broader astronomical community.

NASA and SpaceX are together launching a new satellite into space Monday, with the goal of finding other planets that can potentially support life.

Fortunately, its successor, the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite is readily sitting in the nose cone of a rocket at Florida. He'll succeed Gale Allen, who has been performing chief scientist since 2016 and may retire after better than three a few years of presidency work, NASA officers talked about.

What that means is that while it orbits Earth, it has an incredible field of vision, split into 26 sectors between the north and south celestial skies. The scientists expect that thousands of these stars would host transiting planets that they hope to locate through images taken with the cameras of TESS.

"TESS is going to look for planets around other stars by watching the slight dip in brightness of the star as the planet passes in front of it", explained Paul Hertz, director, Astrophysics Division at NASA Headquarters in Washington. More than 500,000 stars will come under its gaze during its two-year lifespan. As said, it will be launched in orbit from Cape Canaveral, Florida, on April 16th, and will continue the job done by the Kepler Space Telescope, which was the NASA's primary exoplanets observer but which will soon run low on fuel. After the launch, TESS would refine its orbit for two months before it starts data collection.

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"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", he said.

TESS's predecessor, the Keppler Space Telescope, is a planet-hunting space telescope that was launched by NASA in 2009.

NASA's next exoplanet-hunting spacecraft is poised for an on-time liftoff Monday (April 16).

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