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TESS planet finder mission selected by NASA

11 Apr 2013, 11:50 UTC
TESS planet finder mission selected by NASA
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Following on from the success of its Kepler mission in descovering planets, NASA has selected the TESS (Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite) mission for construction and then launch in 2017 as part of its Explorer programme. Orbital Sciences Corporation has been awarded a contract to construct the spacecraft which will be equiped with wide-angle optical telescopes which will monitor any decrease in stellar brightness which is a signature clue that a planet has just passed in front of a star. The spacecraft will be operated from an elliptical orbit around Earth and have a two year lifespan.

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