NASA’s New Planet Hunter on Track to Start Science Work This Month

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NASA’s New Planet Hunter on Track to Start Science Work This Month‘

NASA's newest planet hunter will begin its search for alien worlds before the end of July, if everything goes according to plan.

The Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS), which launched to Earth orbit April 18 atop a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket, is still undergoing commissioning tests, NASA officials said. But those checkouts should be done relatively soon.

"The TESS team has reported that the spacecraft and cameras are in good health, and the spacecraft has successfully reached its final science orbit," NASA officials wrote in an update Wednesday (July 11). "The team continues to conduct tests in order to optimize spacecraft performance, with a goal of beginning science at the end of July."

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SETI Institute in the News June 21 – 27, 2018

Datanami highlighted the start of Frontier Development Lab (FDL), an applied artificial intelligence research accelerator hosted by the SETI Institute as a partnership with NASA Ames Research Center along with private sector partners:


SETI Institute hosts the NASA lab focused on accelerating research on applied AI. The lab was launched in 2016 in partnership with the NASA Ames Research Center. It aims to accelerate development of applied AI to help fill ‘knowledge gaps in space science and exploration,’ SETI said this week.

By leveraging new AI technologies and multidisciplinary expertise in a collaborative environment, FDL seeks to generate meaningful applications to the problems of space programs, such as uncovering the presence of biosignatures, predicting solar storms, and detecting exoplanets. You can read more about FDL 2018 on our website,

NASA’s planet hunting satellite to start looking for exoplanets while Kepler naps

The Kepler telescope is running out of fuel, but NASA’s Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite is ready to take over the hunt for new planets.

Jumping ahead.

But NASA’s previous planet hunter, the Kepler telescope, which launched in 2009, is not in quite the same condition — in fact, it might be ready to die.

When fully operational, TESS will be able to survey a region of the sky “400 times larger than that monitored by Kepler” breaking up space into 26 different sectors. TESS will be aimed at those sectors for 27 days a piece, looking at the brightest stars in the sky, hunting for new planets.

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An ode to Kepler, NASA’s spacecraft that changed what we know about the universe

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  • Date: 2018-07-12T10:00:21+0000
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The President’s Mission to Mars Is a Real Long Shot

President Donald Trump receives a flight jacket from’NASA officials during a bill signing ceremony last year. (Alex Wong/Getty Images file photo)

For a man known for grandiose ambitions, perhaps President Donald Trump’s most lofty is his pledge, formalized in a December order, to land a human being on the surface of Mars.

Trump seems serious about getting to Mars. He’s even picked a fight with the Republicans in the House and Senate over where to spend NASA’s resources, proposing this year to phase out funding for the International Space Station, or ISS, by 2025 and redirect it toward a return trip to the moon and to deep space exploration. On the moon, Trump told the space council last month, “We will establish a long-term presence, expand our economy and build the foundation for the eventual mission to Mars, which is actually going to happen very quickly.”

  • Publisher: Roll Call
  • Date: 2018-07-13T09:05:12Z
  • Author: Shawn Zeller
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