NASA hunt for aliens TESS space telescope is completed with its main mission, but the search for new worlds continues.
TESS (short for “Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite”), which completed its two-year main mission on July 4, discovered 66 exoplanets and nearly 2,100 “candidates” that scientists still need to test, NASA officials said.
However, TESS continued to study the sky for a mission that lasted until September 2022.
Related: NASA’s mission to hunt for the TESS alien planet in photos
“TESS is creating a wide range of high-quality observations, providing valuable data on a wide variety of scientific topics,” said Patricia Boyd, TESS project scientist at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center. Greenbelt, Maryland, said in a statement. “When it came to its mission of expansion, TESS was a resounding success.”
TESS was launched into Earth orbit in April 2018 and began her scientific work three months later. Explorers search the alien world using “shipping method, “monitors the stars to find the small luminosity caused by the worlds orbiting their faces.
This same strategy was the predecessor of TESS, the pioneer of NASA Kepler space telescope. Kepler, declared dead in October 2018, found about two-thirds of the 4,200 exoplanets discovered so far. (Kepler’s findings are continuing; scientists continue to study the spacecraft’s huge data set, with more than 3,000 additional candidates needing further analysis.)
TESS uses four cameras to study 24 x 96-degree areas in the sky for about a month at a time. (Your clenched hand as long as your arm span covers about 10 degrees of the sky, for reference.) The probe spent the first year on its main mission examining areas in the southern sky. , then shift to the northern sky in the second year.
NASA officials say the planet-hunting ship covered about 75% of the sky during its two-year main mission.
The expansion mission will be in a similar order, with TESS focusing on the southern sky for the first 12 months before shifting to the northern sky. During that second year, the probe will also observe the regions around the ecliptic, the plane of Earth’s orbit around the sun.
TESS ‘main mission has yielded many interesting discoveries, including a planet the size of Earth called YOU 700 days That orbit orbits the habitable zone of its star, the range at which liquid water can stabilize on the surface of the world. But the expansion mission can be even more efficient, because the TESS team has made a number of improvements over the past two years.
NASA officials wrote in the same statement: “The probe’s cameras now record the full image every 10 minutes, three times faster than in the main mission”. “A new fast mode measures the brightness of thousands of stars every 20 seconds, along with the previous method of collecting these observations from tens of thousands of stars every two minutes.”
The budget for TESS main mission is capped at $ 200 million, excluding launch costs, which has increased by $ 87 million. The expansion quest won’t add too much to the overall price tag. For example, the extended mission operations of NASA’s New Horizons Pluto probe, which began in 2017, cost under $ 15 million per year, which is above the cost of the main mission about 780 million dollars.
Mike Wall is the author of “Out There” (Grand Central Publishing, 2018; illustrated by Karl Tate), a book about the search for alien life. Follow him on Twitter @michaeldwall. Follow us on Twitter @Spacedotcom or Facebook.