TESS mission to discover new planets moves toward launch

Friday, August 4, 2017 - 16:02 in Astronomy & Space

A NASA mission designed to explore the stars in search of planets outside of our solar system is a step closer to launch, now that its four cameras have been completed by researchers at MIT. The Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS), due to launch in 2018, will travel through space, identifying more than 20,000 extrasolar planets. These will range from Earth-sized planets to much larger gas giants. TESS is expected to catalog a sample of around 500 Earth-sized and “super Earth” planets, or those with radii less than twice that of Earth. It will detect small rock-and-ice planets orbiting a diverse range of stars, including rocky worlds in the habitable zones of their host stars. “The scientific community is eagerly awaiting the launch of TESS and the first data release in 2018,” says Sara Seager, the Class of 1941 Professor of Planetary Sciences at MIT and deputy lead of the TESS Science...

Read the whole article on MIT Research

More from MIT Research

Latest Science Newsletter

Get the latest and most popular science news articles of the week in your Inbox! It's free!

Check out our next project, Biology.Net