“Countdown!” TESS Satellite’s Search for Alien Worlds –WATCH Tomorrow April 15 NASA’s Pre-Launch Press Conference  

 

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The countdown is on! The Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) is scheduled to lift off from the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida on Monday, April 16, at 6:32 p.m. EDT. The space probe will study star systems that are 10 to 300 light-years from Earth. That’s relatively close in astronomical terms — and far closer than the stars that Kepler, which launched in 2009, was designed to study.


“My great hope is that TESS will find new mysteries,” said Dr. Stephen Rinehart, a project scientist for the mission at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland. “Maybe we’ll find something out there that nobody expected and will leave people scratching their heads.”

NASA will hold two pre-launch press conferences as well as a “NASA Social” event on April 15, 2018 in advanced of the April 16 Monday launch of TESS.

Watch Live Here 

Equipped with four specialized cameras, TESS will be able to gaze at 85 percent of the entire sky, according to Dr. George Ricker, the mission’s principal investigator and a scientist at the MIT Kavli Institute for Astrophysics and Space Research in Cambridge, Massachusetts. The field of view includes about 20 million stars, he said.

 

The Pre-Launch press conference schedule is as follows:

11 a.m. – NASA Social Mission Overview
Martin Still, TESS Program Scientist, NASA Headquarters
Tom Barclay, TESS scientist, NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center
Jenn Burt, Torres Postdoctoral Fellow, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Zach Berta-Thompson, Assistant Professor, University of Colorado Boulder
Natalia Guerrero, TESS Researcher, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Robert Lockwood, TESS Spacecraft Program Manager, Orbital ATK
Hans Koenigsmann, Vice President of Build and Flight Reliability at SpaceX
Jessie Christiansen, Staff scientist, NASA Exoplanet Science Institute, California Institute of Technology
Elisa Quintana, TESS scientist, NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center
1 p.m. – Prelaunch news conference
Sandra Connelly, deputy associate administrator of programs, NASA’s Science Mission Directorate
Omar Baez, launch director, NASA’s Launch Services Program
Jeff Volosin, TESS project manager, NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center
Mike McAleenan, weather officer, 45th Weather Squadron
Robert Lockwood, TESS Spacecraft Program Manager, Orbital ATK
Hans Koenigsmann, Vice President of Build and Flight Reliability at SpaceX
3 p.m. – Science news conference
Paul Hertz, Astrophysics Division Director, NASA Headquarters
George Ricker, TESS principal investigator, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Padi Boyd, TESS Guest Investigator Program Lead, NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center
Stephen Rinehart, TESS Project Scientist, NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center
Diana Dragomir, NASA Hubble Postdoctoral Fellow, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

 

 

 

 

 

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