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NASA selects exoplanet mission, ISS astrophysics experiment
Posted: Sun, Apr 7, 2013, 10:04 AM ET (1404 GMT)
TESS spacecraft illustration (MIT) NASA announced Friday that is has selected a spacecraft mission to search for extrasolar planets and an astrophysics experiment to be installed on the International Space Station. As part of the agency's Explorer program, NASA will fund the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS), a spacecraft planned for launch in 2017. TESS will survey the nearest and brightest stars to the Earth to look for Earth-sized and larger exoplanets. NASA also picked the Neutron Star Interior Composition Explorer (NICER) experiment to fly to the ISS in 2017. NICER, mounted on the station's exterior, will measure the variability of cosmic x-ray sources. The two missions selected by NASA Friday came from four finalists announced last year.
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