NASA Preparing to Launch New Planet-Hunting Mission Live Shots

  • Released Tuesday, April 10, 2018

NASA Preparing to Launch New Planet Hunting Mission Next Week
Mission Expected to Discover Thousands of New Worlds Orbiting Nearby Stars
NASA Scientists Available to Speak On the Hunt For New Worlds

The hunt is on to discover new and exciting worlds! NASA’s Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite – TESS – is scheduled to launch April 16 to find thousands of planets orbiting stars outside our solar system, known as exoplanets. In the past ten years, NASA has discovered and studied thousands of these planets – including the TRAPPIST-1 system, which could have the ingredients to support life. TESS is expected to add thousands more planets to this growing list during its two-year mission, looking at the nearest and brightest stars in our galaxy to see if there are worlds hiding in their light.

From molten lava and frigid icy planets, to bizarre places that rain rubies and sapphires and water-covered worlds, the possibilities of new worlds for the planet-hunter to find are limitless. Are Earth and the other planets in our solar system unique? Join NASA scientists from 6:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. EDT on Tuesday, April 10 – days before the launch – as they share some of the exciting discoveries they hope to find with the TESS mission.

TESS will find promising planets that other NASA telescopes – like the Hubble Space Telescope and future James Webb Space Telescope – could look at in more detail to determine what their atmospheres are made of, and whether these unknown worlds could potentially support life.

Suggested Questions:
1. What is an exoplanet and why are scientists excited about them?
2. How will this new mission help NASA in the search for life?
3. Will this planet-hunter change the way we look at the stars in the night sky?
4. Previous telescopes have found really unusual worlds. What kinds of planets are you looking forward to TESS discovering?
5. Where can we learn more?

Questions for longer interviews:
1. Where will TESS orbit?
2. What has been the biggest surprise in searching for exoplanets?
3. How will TESS detect planets?
4. What makes TESS different than other planet hunter missions?
5. What does it look like when a planet crosses in front of the parent star?

Live Shot Details:
Location: NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center/Greenbelt, Maryland

Dr. Paul Hertz / NASA Director of Astrophysics
Dr. Joshua Schlieder / NASA Scientist
Dr. Jennifer Burt / MIT Torres postdoctoral fellow
Natalia Guerrero / MIT Kavli TESS Objects of Interest Deputy Manager [ en Español ]z


Please give credit for this item to:
NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center

Release date

This page was originally published on Tuesday, April 10, 2018.
This page was last updated on Wednesday, May 3, 2023 at 1:46 PM EDT.