Planet-hunting spacecraft to be launched in April

Planet-hunting spacecraft to be launched in April

After revealing that the Kepler Space Telescope will run out of fuel within several months, NASA has announced that it will be launching its next planet-hunting spacecraft on April 16. According to reports, the spacecraft will be launched on a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida.

On March 28, the American space agency will discuss the upcoming launch of the mission called the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS).

TESS is expected to find thousands of planets outside our solar system, known as exoplanets, orbiting the nearest and brightest stars in our cosmic neighborhood.

The mission will find exoplanets that periodically block part of the light from their host stars, events called transits. Powerful telescopes like NASA’s upcoming James Webb Space Telescope can then further study these exoplanets to search for important characteristics, like their atmospheric composition and whether they could support life, NASA said.

TESS will survey 200,000 of the brightest stars near the sun to search for transiting exoplanets. According to a NASA overview of the mission, TESS scientists expect the mission will catalogue more than 2,000 planet candidates and vastly increase the current number of known exoplanets.

Of these, approximately 300 are expected to be Earth-sized and super Earth-sized exoplanets, which are worlds no larger than twice the size of Earth.

Related Post

Dawn spacecraft sends remarkable images of dwarf planet Ceres
views 60
NASA's Dawn spacecraft has delivered the closest-yet views of the dwarf planet Ceres. The US space agency on Tuesday released a set of new images that...
Huge asteroid will pass close to our planet on January 26
views 63
A massive asteroid is set to pass closer to Earth than any other for the next 200 years THIS MONTH. The space rock, code-named 2004 BL86, is a third o...
Video: Comet makes rare, close Mars pass-by
views 45
A comet - the size of a small mountain - whizzed past Mars on Sunday, dazzling space enthusiasts with the once-in-a-million-years encounter. The comet...
NASA discovers seven Earth-like planets
views 67
NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope has made a stunning discovery on the first known system of seven Earth-size planets orbiting around a single star in ou...
Jupiter and Venus to ‘collide’ in the sky in ‘jaw-droppin...
views 67
Jupiter and Venus are to converge in the night skies this month, creating a spectacular event for stargazers. The two brightest planets in the night’...

SHARE WHAT YOU THINK