Watch: NASA to Deploy New Space Telescope to Help Find New Planets

The Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite, TESS for short, will launch on April 16. Once in orbit, TESS will undergo tests and adjustments for sixty days before beginning its two-year mission. TESS is opening a door for a whole new kind of study. We’re going to be able study individual planets and start talking about the differences between planets. The targets TESS finds are going to be fantastic subjects for research for decades to come.

It’s the beginning of a new era of exoplanet research. TESS will be help to build off of data already collected by the Kepler Space Telescope, which has been in orbit for nine years and has confirmed over 2,600 exoplanets. We learned from Kepler that there are more planets than stars in our sky, and now TESS will open our eyes to the variety of planets around some of the closest stars.

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