NASA’s exoplanet probe is in safe mode

In the midst of surveying thousands of stars to detect exoplanets, NASA's "Transit Exoplanet Mapping Satellite" (TESS) entered "Safe Mode" on Monday. became. It is not yet clear what happened to the spacecraft, but engineers are working to revive the planet hunter.

BingMag.com NASA’s exoplanet probe is in safe mode

In the midst of surveying thousands of stars to detect exoplanets, NASA's "Transit Exoplanet Mapping Satellite" (TESS) entered "Safe Mode" on Monday. became. It is not yet clear what happened to the spacecraft, but engineers are working to revive the planet hunter.

NASA said on Wednesday that the spacecraft is stable, but initial investigations suggest it suffered a computer malfunction. Is. The mission team is still trying to assess what happened; However, the TESS probe has entered a safe mode as a result of resetting its flight computer.

Thus, TESS has entered a stable configuration and its science operations are currently suspended. At the same time, any new scientific information collected by the spacecraft but not yet sent to the ground control center is stored on the satellite. "Various reconnaissance and recovery procedures are underway to resume normal operations and may take several days," NASA wrote in a statement.

TESS, launched in 2018, is searching for exoplanets. It is the solar system. This mission is designed to examine thousands of stars and identify possible planets in orbit around them; A work that is done using the "Transit" diagnostic method, which is based on trial and error. In this method, when looking at a star, the small drop in brightness that occurs due to the passage of the planet in front of it is measured.

So far, TESS has used the transit method to discover more than 250 exoplanets. And thousands of candidate exoplanets are still awaiting confirmation. This spacecraft was originally designed for two years of operation, but by showing its capabilities, it will continue to work and it is hoped that the recent technical failure will not be a concern.

The continuation of the Kepler mission ) follows. This retired space telescope was launched in 2009 and helped discover more than 2,600 exoplanets in nearly 10 years.

The search for exoplanets is primarily based on the human curiosity about what Answer whether there is another habitable planet similar to Earth somewhere in the galaxy and whether life similar to Earth can be seen in the vastness of the universe.

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Cover photo: a graphic design of the TES spacecraft
Credit: NASA

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