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NASA Mission To Reap Bonanza of Earth-sized Planets
Set to launch in 2017, NASA’s Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) will monitor more than half a million stars over its two-year mission, with a focus on the smallest, brightest stellar objects.
During its observations, TESS is expected to find more than 3,000 new planets outside of our solar system, most of which will be possible for ground-based telescopes to observe.
“Bright host stars are the best ones for follow-up studies of their exoplanets to pin down planet masses, and to characterize planet atmospheres,” said senior research scientist George Ricker at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Kavli Institute for Astrophysics in an email.