NASA sends human sperm into space for 1st time

NASA sends human sperm into space for 1st time

As NASA continues its quest to locate more planets outside of our solar system, the space agency reports it will launch its next planet-hunting satellite early next week.

A cargo mission is launching to the International Space Station in April 2018 to study how weightlessness affects sperm.

Lookup on the sky tonight.

It will be the most extensive survey of its kind from orbit, with TESS, a galactic scout, combing the neighborhood as never before. "After that, there'll just be a flood of information", says the mission's principal investigator, George Ricker at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. "This is really a mission for the ages".

NASA's astrophysics director, Paul Hertz, said missions like Tess will help reply whether or not or not we're alone - or just lucky ample to have "the proper prime precise property inside the galaxy".

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

Tess will find the most promising exoplanets orbiting relatively nearby stars, giving future researchers a rich set of new targets for more comprehensive follow-up studies, including the potential to assess their capacity to harbour life. Way more candidates await affirmation.

About 50 are believed to potentially habitable.

TESS is the heir apparent to the wildly successful Kepler Space Telescope, the pioneer of planetary census.


MIT's Sar a Seager, a Canadian astrophysicist who has dedicated her life to finding another Earth, imagines water worlds waiting to be explored. Maybe even rocky or icy planets with thin atmospheres reminiscent of Earth.

"It's not "Interstellar" or "Arrival". However, human sperm are inherently more varied in motion and appearance.

The total mission price tag for TESS is $337 million.

Fairly small as spacecraft go, the 800-pound, 4 foot-by-5-foot Tess (362-kilogram, 1.2 meter-by-1.5 meter) will journey a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket from Cape Canaveral Air Energy Station. Liftoff is scheduled for Monday evening. The orbiter carries several instruments that record data on the moon and sent it back to Earth.

Rather than looking at distant stars in a small area of sky, like Kepler did, TESS will look at closer stars over 85 per cent of the sky. Nearly all of stars inside the Tess survey might be 300 light-years to 500 light-years away, in accordance with Ricker.

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. They don't seem to be greater than half the size of our photo voltaic. They're also comparatively cool in temperature. The seven planets orbit a star that is 9 percent larger than our Sun. If the star's light dims briefly, and does so regularly, by the same amount, it is very likely that you're seeing a planet pass between your telescope and that star. Tess will detect any such blips.

The first year of observations will map the 13 sectors encompassing the southern sky, and the second year will map the 13 sectors of the northern sky. Way more years of scanning may observe. The orbits of any planets in these strategies should be fairly temporary.

"TESS is NASA's next step in the search for planets outside of our solar system, known as exoplanets, including those that could support life", the space agency reports. Once it launches in 2020, the Webb telescope will serve as the "premier observatory" for the next decade as it will aim to serve thousands of astronomers around the world.

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