The NASA’s Tess spacecraft lifts-off in search of the new planets: Hello, Everyone Today I am going to share some exciting facts on the NASA’s Tess spacecraft lifts-off in search of the new planets. NASA’s Tess spacecraft are embarking Wednesday on a quest to find new worlds around neighboring stars that can support life.
The NASA’s Tess spacecraft lifts-off in search of the new planets
Tess rode a Space X Falcon rocket through the evening sky, aiming for an orbit stretching all the way to the moon. The satellite is the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite, or Tess will scan almost the entire sky for at least two years, staring at the closest, brightest stars to finding and identify planets around them.
Hundreds of thousands of stars will scrutinize, with the expectation that thousands of exoplanets planets outside our solar system will reveal right in the cosmic backyards.
Rocky and icy planets, hot gas giants and, possibly, water worlds. Between the sizes of Earth and Neptune. May an Earth twin.
The sky will becoming more beautiful, will become more awesome knowing there are planets orbiting stars we see twinkling at night, said NASA’s top science administrator, Thomas Zurbuchen.
Discoveries by Tess and other missions, he noted, will bring us closer to answering questions that have lingered for thousands of years. Do life exist beyond Earth. So, is it microbial or more advanced?
But Tess won’t look for life. It is not designing for that. It will scout for planets of all sorts, but especially that is called Goldilocks.
The orbit is where temperatures are neither too cold nor too hot, but right for the life to nourishing water.
The most promising candidates will study byes bigger, more powerful observatories in the future, that is NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope, due to launch in another few years as the heir to Hubble.
The telescopes will scour the planets’ atmospheres for any of ingredients of the living water vapor, oxygen, methane, and carbon dioxide.
Tess will tell us where to looking at when to look, says the mission’s chief scientist, George Ricker of Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Tess is the successor to NASA’s Kepler Space Telescope, on its last legs after discovering a few thousand exoplanets over the past nine years.
Astronomers anticipate more than doubling Kepler’s confirming planetary count of more than 2,600, once Tess’ four wide-view cameras begin scientific observations in early summer. Unlike Tess, Kepler can only scour a sliver of the sky.
The total exoplanet census currently stands at more than 3,700 confirmed, with another 4,500 on the not-yet-verifying list. That is a lot considering the first one was popping up barely two decades ago.
Until about 25 years ago, the only known planets were in our solar system, noting NASA’s director of astrophysics, Paul Hertz.
While Kepler has focused on stars’ thousands of light-years away, Tess will concentrate on our stellar neighbors, dozens or hundreds of light-years away.
Most of Tess’ targets will cool, common red dwarf stars, though too rich breeding grounds for planets.
To find the planets, Tess will use the same transit method employing by Kepler, watching for regular, fleeting dips in stellar brightness that will indicate a planet passes in front of its star. That is astronomer will do now.
By sticking to stars closer to home, it will easier for Webb and other massive telescopes planning for space and Earth to sniff out possible signs of life in the atmosphere.
It also will more feasible for the Robotic explorers to set sail for these new worlds in the decades and centuries ahead.
Such a large undertaking, Tess is surprisingly compact and its mission relatively inexpensive at $337 million.
Small stacking washer-dryer, the 5-foot-tall, 4-foot-wide, 800-pound spacecraft is 1.5-meters, 1.2-meters, and 362 kilograms. It is bound for an elongating orbit of Earth, with a far end to skirt orbiting on the moon.
Tess comes within a few thousand miles of the lunar surface on May 17. The moon’s gravity will help to get the satellite in the right orbit and keep it there.
Cameras are equipping with wide-angle lenses a mere 4 inches across 10 centimeters that will off during the lunar fly.
“No moon selfie,” said Robert Lockwood of Orbital ATK, which built Tess.
Tess team members revealing in Wednesday’s smooth, photogenic flight through clear skies, and NASA officials were delighting to clear the way for May 5th launch of the Mars lander, InSight, from California.
Space X employees have another reason to celebrate the first-stage booster rocket landing on an ocean platform following lift-off, to recycling for a future NASA mission.
It is incredible and so emotional that the MIT researcher Natalia Guerrero. I cannot wait to get starting on collecting data.”
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