NASA spacecraft aims to put mystery planets on galactic map
CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. — Calling all planets that orbit around bright, nearby stars: NASA’s new Tess spacecraft is looking to do a head count. The spacecraft aims to add thousands of exoplanets, or planets beyond our solar system, to the galactic map for future study. ——SPACECRAFT: At 5 feet (1.5 metres), Tess is shorter than most adults and downright puny compared with most other spacecraft. Scientists expect to discover thousands of planets that, over time, will undergo further scrutiny by powerful telescopes in space and on Earth. NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope, once launched in 2020 or so, will probe these planets’ atmospheres for potential traces of life.