Thursday February 21, 2019
Home Lead Story NASA’s ...

NASA’s TESS Satellite Begins Science Operations: a Quest for Exoplanets

TESS is expected to find thousands of planets using this method, some of which could potentially support life

0
//
Kepler, NASA, tissue
NASA to use Blockchain technology for air traffic management. Pixabay

After a successful launch in April this year, NASA’s newest planet hunter, the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS), has now started its search for planets around nearby stars.

Officially beginning science operations on July 25, TESS is expected to transmit its first series of science data back to Earth in August, and thereafter periodically every 13.5 days, once per orbit, as the spacecraft makes it closest approach to Earth, NASA said in a statement.

“I’m thrilled that our new planet hunter mission is ready to start scouring our solar system’s neighborhood for new worlds,” said NASA Astrophysics Division Director Paul Hertz.

“Now that we know there are more planets than stars in our universe, I look forward to the strange, fantastic worlds we’re bound to discover,” Hertz added.

NASA
NASA’s newest planet hunter, the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS), has now started its search for planets around nearby stars. Flickr

TESS is NASA’s latest satellite to search for planets outside our solar system, known as exoplanets.

The mission will spend the next two years monitoring the nearest and brightest stars for periodic dips in their light.

Also Read: NASA to Announce Crews for Boeing, SpaceX Missions

These events, called transits, suggest that a planet may be passing in front of its star.

TESS is expected to find thousands of planets using this method, some of which could potentially support life. (IANS)

Next Story

ISRO New Rocket ‘SSLV’ to Carry Two Defence Satellites

The Indian space agency will fly two small defence satellites in July/August on its new rocket --now known as Small Satellite Launch Vehicle (SSLV).

0
credit: static.dnaindia.com

The Indian space agency will fly two small defence satellites in July/August on its new rocket –now known as Small Satellite Launch Vehicle (SSLV) – said a top official of Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO).

“We are planning to fly two defence satellites, each weighing about 120 kg in our new rocket SSLV this July or August. The rocket design recently underwent a detailed integrated technical review,” K. Sivan, ISRO Chairman, told IANS on Wednesday.

He said the total weight of the payload that will be carried by the SSLV on its maiden flight will be about 500 kg. While the two satellites would weight about 120 kg each, there will be adaptors and others that would weigh about 300 kg.

The total weight of the rocket will be 110 tonne, Sivan said.

ISRO, Satellite, SSLV
The total weight of the rocket will be 110 tonne, Sivan said. Flickr

Queried about the need for a second commercial arm – first one is Antrix Corporation – Sivan said: “We want to give a big push for production of SSLV. We expect the demand for SSLV to be about two/three rockets per month. We also want to increase the production of Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV).”

Sivan said the increase in production is sought to be achieved partnering with the private sector.

He said Antrix Corporation is mainly into transponder leasing and other activities.

On Tuesday, the Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi gave its approval for setting up of a new company under the Department of Space (DoS), to commercially exploit the research and development work carried out by ISRO and its constituent units.

The following areas/avenues provide opportunities for commercial exploitation of ISRO programmes:

Small satellite technology transfer to industry, wherein the new company shall take licence from DoS/ISRO and sub-license to industries; manufacture of small satellite launch vehicle (SSLV) in collaboration with the private sector.

ISRO, SSLV, Satellite
He said the total weight of the payload that will be carried by the SSLV on its maiden flight will be about 500 kg. Flickr

Besides, productionisation of PSLV through industry; productionisation and marketing of space-based products and services, including launch and applications; transfer of technology developed by ISRO Centres and constituent units of DoS.

Also marketing of some spin-off technologies and products, both in India and abroad; and any other subject which Government of India deems fit.

ALSO READ: A Simple Breakfast Toast Can Cause Air Pollution

When asked about the technologies that the ISRO can transfer, Sivan said: “We have developed technologies in materials, chemicals and others. These can be transferred so that people can benefit.”

Sivan said the capital for the proposed company will not be large and its name is yet to be finalised. (IANS)