SpaceX Company has successfully launched fromCape Canaveral launch site of the Falcon 9 launch vehicle with a TESS satellite (Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite) for NASA Aerospace Agency, which will use it to search for Earth-like planets outside the solar system.
After a delayed start, the launch has passednormally. Three minutes after the start, the Falcon 9 first stage detached. After another six minutes, the stage made a successful vertical landing on the barge "Of Course, I Still Love You" in the Atlantic Ocean. After about 50 minutes, the device went into a given orbit. As part of its two-year mission, the device will be studying more than 200 thousand stars, near which, using the transit detection method, will search for new exoplanets.
The transit method of searching for exoplanets ismonitoring the decrease in the luminosity level of a star at the moment when a large object, the size of a planet, can pass in front of it. The level of variable brightness allows scientists to determine what exactly they found
April 16, the head of SpaceX Ilon Mask said thatthe second stage of the rocket after its launch can be saved with the help of a giant balloon for parties. The SpaceX company is known for having developed the technology of returning and landing of accelerating units on unmanned platforms floating in the ocean, and then reusing them.
Recall that TESS was launched to replace the Kepler telescope, which, due to an exhausted fuel supply, will completely fail in the coming months.
TESS has four 16.8 telescopes with matricesmegapixels operating in the spectral range from 600 to 1000 nanometers. Each of these telescopes has a field of view of 24 to 24 degrees. They are directed in such a way that together form a single field of view in the form of an elongated band. Once every 27 days, the telescope will change the observation area, which will allow it to create a map covering 85 percent of the entire celestial sphere in two years. In this way, it is very different from Kepler, who constantly watched a fragment of only a quarter of a percent of the sky. True, such wide coverage entailed a serious drawback. The telescope will observe one segment for less than a month and because of this it may not detect planets with a long period of revolution. But TESS will have two zones for which it will observe continuously throughout the year - they are located in the center of the northern and southern hemispheres of the telescope and are formed because of overlapping segments when the device is rotated.
The main goals of TESS will be the starslocated no further than 300 light years from Earth, and having a brightness of 30 to 100 times higher than those studied by Kepler. According to scientists, the device will be able to detect several thousand exoplanets, of which about 300 may be no more than twice the size of Earth. After finding candidates for exoplanets using an orbital telescope, mission scientists will confirm them with ground-based telescopes, as well as the planned James Webb space telescope, which, hopefully, with this series of endless launches, someday will be launched into space.