NASA Planet Hunter Will Find Life On Other Planets

On the hunt for Earth 2.0: Watch NASA's TESS launch live

The space agency said: "Our planet-hunting NASA TESS spacecraft will fly in a unique orbit that'll allow it to study almost the entire sky over two years".

Tess for short - is embarking Monday on a two-year quest to find and identify mystery worlds thought to be lurking in our cosmic backyard.

TESS scientists expect the mission will catalog thousands of planet candidates and vastly increase the current number of known exoplanets.

"It is very exciting". "On average the stars that TESS observes are 30-100 times brighter and 10 times closer than the stars that Kepler focused on".

NASA's space telescope Transit Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) which is expected to expand astronomers knowledge of "exoplanets" or planets beyond our solar system, will be launched into orbit from the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida on SpaceX's Falcon 9 rocket. Powerful cameras on the satellite will "stare" at each sector for at least 27 days, looking at the brightest stars. Repeated dips would indicate a planet passing in front of its star.

A total of 2 lakh stars have been pre-selected as being relatively nearby, for TESS to scan with some stars being only dozens of light years away from Earth.

NASA is on the brink of sending a satellite into space that it believes will discover thousands of new planets within the next few years. The lunar gravity will keep the spacecraft stabilized in this orbit for decades to come, with no fuel needed.

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But soon afterward, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration told SpaceX there's a government restriction that requires a license to show views of Earth from space.

JOB: Tess will scan nearly the entire sky during its $337 million mission, staring at hundreds of thousands, even millions of small, faint red dwarf stars.

Kepler, the first planet-hunting mission of its kind, "was launched to answer one single question: How common is a planet like Earth around a star like the Sun?" said Patricia "Padi" Boyd, director of the TESS guest investigator programme at Nasa's Goddard Spaceflight Centre.

While no reason for the change in schedule was mentioned, the agency said, "Launch teams are standing down today to conduct additional Guidance Navigation and Control analysis, and teams are now working towards a targeted launch of the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) on Wednesday, April 18".

"Tess will find small planets, rocky planets that might have atmospheres and features that may be conducive to life", Buzasi said.

ALIEN LIFE: Tess has no instruments capable of detecting life.

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