All about NASA's new space planet hunter 'TESS'

Published: 17th April 2018 02:35 PM  |   Last Updated: 17th April 2018 03:37 PM  

NASA's Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS), which was scheduled to launch on Monday, will be launched on Wedensday due to an additional Guidance Navigation and Control test. (Photo | AP)
Just like the Kepler mission which was launched in 2009 to explore planets within the Milky Way galaxy, TESS will look for exoplanets that have the potential to harbour alien life. (Photo | NASA)
TESS will be launched by Falcon 9, a launch vehicle produced by SpaceX. It is run by liquid oxygen and refined kerosene. (Photo | NASA)
With the help of a gravitational assist from the Moon, the spacecraft will settle into a 13.7-day orbit around Earth. Sixty days after launch, and following tests of its instruments, the satellite will begin its initial two-year mission. (Photo | NASA)
The satellite, developed by scientists at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in the US, aims to discover thousands of nearby exoplanets, including at least 50 Earth-sized ones. The spacecraft, not much larger than a refrigerator, carries four cameras that will survey the nearest, brightest stars in the sky for signs of passing planets. (Photo | NASA)
TESS will spend two years scanning nearly the entire sky - a field of view that can encompass more than 20 million stars. The spacecraft will be looking for a phenomenon known as a transit, where a planet passes in front of its star, causing a periodic and regular dip in the star's brightness. IN PIC: Artist concept of TESS in front of a lava planet orbiting its host star. (Photo | NASA)
After TESS identifies the planets, scientists can zoom in on them using other telescopes, to detect atmospheres, characterise atmospheric conditions, and even look for signs of habitability. IN PIC: Technicians inside the Payload Hazardous Servicing Facility where TESS is being processed and prepared for its flight. (Photo | NASA)
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