NASA to send out satellite in 2017

Exploring exoplanets seems to be next on the agenda for NASA. The space exploration authority has decided to send out a satellite in 2017 to study both exoplanets and neutron stars. It is called TESS or Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite. TESS will handle the survey of habitable planets in nearby star systems.

As can be imagined while the mission is small the findings will have a huge impact. TESS will try to find terrestrial planets, those which have sizable land, located in the habitable zone around the central star. There are sure to be plenty of gas giants out there but the researchers are looking for some more rocky ones like Earth.

As per the head of the mission TESS will carry out the first space-borne all-sky transit survey, covering 400 times as much sky as any previous mission. It will identify thousands of new planets in the solar neighborhood, with a special focus on planets comparable in size to the Earth.

That much more chance of them finding a substitute Earth. The follow up will include the study of the atmospheres of such suitable planets. The results of this science project will surely have a huge impact on how we view other planets as possible future homes to civilization.


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