Science

NASA sends human sperm into space - here's why

NASA sends human sperm into space - here's why

The Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite will launch no earlier than 6:32 p.m. Monday, April 16 from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida, NASA reports in a news release. Kepler's fuel tank is running precariously low after nine years of flight, and NASA expects it to shut down within several months. Others, however, can only be seen clearly from space.

Grau, Deputy Manager at the International Space Station Program External Integration Office works with space imagery from the ISS and encourages artists and scientists to use NASA images and will be presenting at the planetarium from 11:45 A.M. - 2:45 P.M.

The video is actually an updated version of a Moon tour video that NASA first published six years ago.

NASA and others stress that Tess isn't going to seek for atmospheric or totally different indicators of life; it may't do that.

How do you find exoplanets?

They have the right size and the right orbit of their star to support surface water and, at least theoretically, to support life.

You can directly image them, but this is very hard, and only captures the largest planets, and those in the most distant orbits around their stars.




So how do you spot a planet around such a small, faint star, from so far away? Again, this tends to only find the largest planets.

A planet must set off a slight, short-term dip in its star's brightness as a result of it passes correct in entrance. Kepler uses the same method, but it's peering out to a distance of around 3,000 light years in certain parts of the sky. This will provide much more information on these targets, as the spacecraft's cameras spend a total of 27 days on each sector of space.

Within this vast visual perspective, the sky has been divided into 26 sectors that Tess will observe one by one. So astronomers want to focus on stars that are vastly brighter and closer to home - close enough for NASA's upcoming James Webb Space Telescope to scrutinize the atmospheres of planets lurking in their sun's shadows.

That schedule will limit TESS's ability to spot repeat transits, except for those planets orbiting closely around red dwarf stars, however by scanning almost all of the space around us, it still has a chance to pick up thousands, to tens of thousands of transiting planets during its initial 2-year scan, and possibly things that we cannot even anticipate at this time.

If the reality of that whole situation kind of bums you out, perhaps NASA's brand new 4K "Moon Tour" video will help fulfill your desire to visit Earth's nearest neighbor.