NASA’s Newest TESS Spacecraft Officially Starts Search For Exotic Planets


The TESS telescope was launched in April of this year.

"I'm thrilled that our new planet hunter mission is ready to start scouring our solar system's neighborhood for new worlds", NASA's astrophysics division's director Paul Hertz said.

The newest planet-hunting satellite from NASA's stable has crossed our galaxy and started its hunt beyond. The first scientific data the device will transmit to Earth in August.

"Now that we know there are more planets than stars in our universe, I look forward to the odd, fantastic worlds we're bound to discover", Hertz added.

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To recall, TESS was launched on April 18, 2018, aboard SpaceX's Falcon 9 rocket and is aimed at finding thousands of exoplanets that periodically block part of the light from their host stars. For the next two years, TESS will be monitoring numerous nearest and brightest of the stars and analyzing their periodic dips of light.

TESS stands for Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite; the spacecraft is created to search the sky, identifying exoplanets and sending the data back to researchers. The team will begin searching the data for new planets immediately after the first series arrives.

For this reason, all of the most interesting discoveries will be explored further TESS of the largest ground-based telescopes that can open the planet for the shifts in the spectrum of their star, and built orbital Observatory "James Webb", which will replace the Hubble in the early 2020s. These events suggest that a planet may be passing in front of a star and are called transits.

The TESS telescope equipped with four telescopes with matrices a resolution of 16.8 megapixels, which operate in the spectral range from 600 to 1000 nanometers.

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The mission isled and operated by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge and managed by NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland. According to NASA, "every new mission goes through a commissioning period of testing and adjustments before beginning science operations".

"TESS will search 85 percent of our sky for exoplanets orbiting bright stars and our nearest stellar neighbors", Martin Still, NASA headquarters program scientist for TESS, told Newsweek.

TESS follows in the footsteps of NASA's iconic Kepler telescope, which in the course of two missions has identified 2,650 confirmed exoplanets, according to the space agency.

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