As MIT professor, Sara Seager, explained that NASA's new satellite will be the flawless tool for discovering which new exoplanets we should be studying next.
Once launched, the new TESS satellite will be studied closely by NASA to keep a close eye on 200,000 stars.
On Monday, April 16, 2018, NASA will launch their new TESS (Transiting Exoplanet Survey) satellite to search for alien planets orbiting distant stars.
So, how will TESS perform its alien planet hunt? The more light, the more data, and often the less noise - researchers will be able to tell more about stars that are observed, and if necessary dedicate other ground or space resources towards observing them.
"We expect TESS will discover a number of planets whose atmospheric compositions, which hold potential clues to the presence of life, could be precisely measured by future observers". But Kepler is crippled and is running out of fuel.
During its almost ten-year term in space, the Kepler mission confirmed more than 2,600 exoplanets, many of them thousands of light years away.
Once blasted into space, it will eventually sit in a special orbit (red) that goes out to 250,000 kilometres then sweeps back to within 100,000 kilometres of Earth.
But even though Kepler has discovered a swag of planets, we still know very little about alien worlds because most of the ones we've found are too far away to be easily studied by ground-based telescopes for hints of life.
TESS will wait for the regular drops in brightness caused by a planet crossing in front of its stellar host and blocking a tiny amount of starlight.
Perhaps the best part about all of these planets TESS is expected to detect is how close they are to us.
TESS will also be primed to identify the worlds circling red dwarfs, the small, dim stars that make up around roughly three-quarters of the stars in the sky.
While looking for the exoplanets, TESS would also witness other unrelated phenomena, such as possible supernovae or the other fast-changing objects.
It is hoped that TESS will be able to locate other planets that resemble Earth in important ways, and Seager believes we have a fairly good chance of finding these planets with the new satellite.
The NASA-funded spaceship is not larger than a refrigerator and has four cameras that were designed, conceived, and built at MIT, with a single wide-eyed vision, which is to survey the nearest and brightest stars in the sky for the signs of passing planets.
With the help of a gravitational assist from the Moon, the spacecraft will settle into a 13.7-day orbit around Earth, NASA said in an earlier statement. There are 13 such segments in the sky's Northern hemisphere and 13 in the southern; by the time TESS has focused on them all, it will have checked 85 percent of the visible sky.
And TESS could potentially last much longer than Kepler, which is set to run out of fuel sometime this year. "The TESS planets are going to be the ones you're going to look at".