NASA to launch planet-hunting spacecraft in April 16

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Image courtesy: NASA GSFC
Image courtesy: NASA GSFC

New Delhi : Soon after informing about that the Kepler Space Telescope which will run out of fuel within several months, NASA has made an official announcement about the launch of its next planet-hunting spacecraft. The spacecraft will be launched on April 16.

Reports confirmed that the planet-hunting spacecraft will be launched on a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. The American space agency will discuss the upcoming launch of the mission called the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) on March 28.

Scientists is in the believe that Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) will find thousands of planets outside our solar system, known as exoplanets, orbiting the nearest and brightest stars in our celestial area.

The TESS mission will discover exoplanets that regularly block part of the light from their host stars, events called transits.

Further, it has been known that NASA scientists will the upcoming James Webb Space Telescope to study these exoplanets so as to know important characteristics, like their atmospheric composition and whether they could support life.

It is expected that TESS will survey 200,000 of the brightest stars near the sun to search for transiting exoplanets.

According to a NASA overview of the mission, TESS scientists expect the mission will index more than 2,000 planet candidates and vastly increase the current number of known exoplanets. Experts predict that approximately 300 are expected to be Earth-sized and super Earth-sized exoplanets.