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NASA Tess spacecraft to prowl for planets as galactic scout

April 12, 2018

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) — NASA’s newest planet hunter will serve as a galactic scout.

Set to lift off next week from Florida, the Tess spacecraft will prowl for planets around our brightest neighboring stars. These newfound worlds eventually will become prime targets for future telescopes looking to tease out any signs of life.

It will be the most extensive survey of its kind undertaken from orbit

How extensive? Look up at the sky tonight. Every single star you see — plus hundreds of thousands more — will come under Tess’ intense stare.

NASA’s chief astrophysicist, Paul Hertz, says missions like Tess will help answer whether we’re alone — or just lucky enough to have “the best prime real estate in the galaxy.”

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