NASA’s Tess spacecraft has officially begun its science missions, exploring the universe as it looks for new planets. It creates hope that it will ultimately find thousands of alien worlds, some of which could be fit for human habitation.
The craft – whose name stands for Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite – will look deep in the cosmos for signs of planets. Any that are found will be explored from afar, as scientists try to work out what it might be like on those planets, and whether life could survive there.
Its work has already started and it will send its first set of science data back in August. After that it will send down new findings approximately every fortnight, and the science team will scour through it for signs of planets as soon as it arrives.
“I’m thrilled that our planet hunter is ready to start combing the backyard of our solar system for new worlds,” said Paul Hertz, Nasa Astrophysics division director at its headquarters in Washington. “With possibly more planets than stars in our universe, I look forward to the strange, fantastic worlds we’re bound to discover.”
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