NASA offers 4K tour of the moon

Elon Musk’s Boring Co. raises $113 million to chase a pipe dream		
		
	Lucas Matney

   	7 hours

Next Monday, April 16, NASA's $200-million Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite, or TESS, will surge skyward on a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket.

"Previous experiments with sea urchin and bull sperm suggest that activating movement happens more quickly in microgravity", NASA officials wrote, "while the steps leading up to fusion happen more slowly, or not at all". "Just knowing that you're not alone".

To answer those questions and others, NASA's North Atlantic Aerosols and Marine Ecosystems Study (NAAMES) mission began its fourth and final deployment, making it the first research mission to conduct an integrated study of all four distinct phases of the world's largest phytoplankton bloom in the North Atlantic and how they impact the atmosphere. If all goes well, over the next two years, it will search space for signs of exoplanets, or planets beyond our own solar system. After Kepler's 2009 launch the spacecraft started finding multiplanet systems and lone exoplanets orbiting stars.

The exoplanet count, from all observatories in space and on Earth over the past couple of decades, stands at more than 3,700 confirmed with 4,500 on the strong contender list.

"It's very exciting", Ricker said. Kepler and TESS have a different, but similar approach, to do that. Astronomers anticipate that TESS will will find hundreds of super-Earths, which don't exist in our solar system.

Stephen Rinehart, project scientist for TESS, says that with Kepler, the goal was to get a narrow, deep look at one slice of the cosmos. "Can we find evidence that there's even a possibility of other life nearby us in the universe?"

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TESS will also be primed to identify the worlds circling red dwarfs, the small, dim stars that make up around roughly three-quarters of the stars in the sky. The more frequently these dips occur, the shorter a planet's orbit and the closer it is to its star.

It will take about one year to scan the heavens above the southern hemisphere and another year to finish the northern hemisphere.

TESS will tell James Webb what to look at, and the powerful telescope can look for the planets' atmosphere traces.

The spacecraft will survey nearly the entire sky, starting with the Southern Hemisphere for a year, then the Northern Hemisphere for a year.

"For me, just knowing they're there would be enough", Volosin said.

In late 2011, the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) mission released its original tour of the moon, an animation that takes the viewer 239,000 miles away from Earth on a virtual tour of the moon's surface. "The TESS planets are going to be the ones you're going to look at".

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