Life is full of new discoveries. The death or fall of one organization leads to a rebirth of another. This means nothing that finds its way on earth will easily die due to lack of a predecessor. In the same way, Kepler Space Telescope owned by NASA has accelerated the speed of discovery. This has made it clear that the galaxy is saturated with planets.
The fact that Kepler is running out of fuel and crippling would be a disappointment to many. However, the good news is, Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite is ready to succeed Kepler. TESS is actually on the other side waiting to in the wings waiting to fly. As astronomers are putting it, Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite is sitting in the nose shaft of a missile in Florida.
TESS is on Monday scheduled to launch aboard a rocket that is identified as SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket. This is one of many missions NASA has partnered on with Elon Musk Rocket Company. SpaceX has also used its Dragon cargo ships in resupplying the International Space Station.
NASA’s Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite is tasked to monitor two hundred of the nearest stars by use of the same discovery system that enabled its predecessor Kepler to identify 2,600 confirmed exoplanets. It features four wide-field cameras that will come in handy when it comes to watching tell-tale dips in brightness which can be caused by a compassing planet transiting in front of a star.
TESS is essentially expected to provide a catalog like a phone book. This will be important because it will provide important information about all the best planets you would be interested in following up. This information was given by Sara Seager who is an astrophysics professor who is part of the leadership team of scientists working for TESS. He is also a driving force in the mission of searching for signs of life in other stars.
Once TESS has successfully found those worlds, they will use a more sophisticated telescope like James Webb Space Telescope which has been set to be launched in 2020. The sophisticated telescope will come in handy in looking for those marks of potential life.
According to Seager, TESS characterizes the very first opportunity of truly making progress in the area of trying to find marks of life on other planets. Tess has a great chance of finding a rocky planet, with the right temperature that is favorable for human habitation.