NASA’s TESS is the new exoplanet hunter the US space agency deployed in space in April 2018 on board of a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket. Now, TESS entered in the last phase of testings before commencing the search for planets outside our solar system that may house extraterrestrial life.
“The TESS team has reported that the spacecraft and cameras are in good health, and the spacecraft has successfully reached its final science orbit. The team continues to conduct tests in order to optimize spacecraft performance, with a goal of beginning science at the end of July,” said the NASA’s officials.
TESS (Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite) will use the transitory method to detect planets. That means that TESS will study thousands of stars in the Universe and will identify variations in their brightness that might be produced by planets passing in front of them. In fact, it will employ the same exoplanet detection method as the renowned Kepler Space Telescope which will soon be floating in space with empty tanks.
NASA’s TESS might start searching for exoplanets this month
In comparison with the Kepler Space Telescope, which found about 70% of the approximately 4,000 exoplanets discovered to date, the TESS probe will be even more prolific.
On the other hand, the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite will study stars in the vicinity of our solar system. Therefore, the majority of the new worlds TESS will discover would quickly have their atmospheres analyzed by other instruments, such as the upcoming James Webb space telescope.
Recently, NASA’s TESS entered in the last phase of testings before commencing its mission. According to NASA’s officials, TESS would be able to start searching for exoplanets this month.
The Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) mission, which was initially scheduled for mid-June, would work for at least two years and will be complemented by other space instruments, as mentioned.