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Small satellite for exploring far off planets goes silent

Press Release

Mission experts at Jet Propulsion Laboratory of NASA, located in Pasadena, California, have lost trace with the ASTERIA satellite. The experts designed the space ship of a briefcase sized-satellite to explore planets found outside the solar system. The last time ASTERIA, a short form of Arcsecond Space Telescope Enabling Research Astrophysics, took place on December 5, last year. Its efforts to make its contact anticipate continuing March of this year.

Arcsecond Space Telescope Enabling Research Astrophysics is part of the category of satellites known as ‘CubeSats,’ and they appear in varied sizes. However, they are typically sale than the size of a suitcase. Prepared ready to perform their work on November 20, 2017, the technology display operation showed that several technologies, in charge of studying and possibly finding exoplanets (planets’ revolving stars apart from the solar), could be concentrated to fit in small satellites. The use of the small satellites could help more significant exoplanet operations such as the Transiting Exoplanet Satellite Survey (TESS) of NASA. 

Arcsecond Space Telescope Enabling Research Astrophysics explored a large group of nearby stars and made successful demonstrations that it could accomplish precision measurements of the brightness belonging to the stars. With that particular information, researchers search for depressions in the light of the star, which would point out an orbiting planet passing between the satellite and the star (this kind of planet-hunting method known as the ‘transit’ method). There is an ongoing of data from the operation to figure out whether Arcsecond Space Telescope Enabling Research Astrophysics spotted any far off planets. 

From the time when the researchers were done with their first aim of the operation in the early February in 2018, Arcsecond Space Telescope Enabling Research Astrophysics has proceeded in activities using three mission extension leads. During that period, scientists used it as an in-space platform to examine various abilities to develop CubeSats and make them more self-directed. The location of some of the CubeSats is on artificial intelligence programs. Arcsecond Space Telescope Enabling Research Astrophysics also provided prospects in exploring the earth, a comet, and other space ship in geosynchronous trajectory and stars, which might host the transiting exoplanets.

Even if the team fails to attain its contact back with the Arcsecond Space Telescope Enabling Research Astrophysics, experts can still perform some experiments on CubeSat autonomy by using the testbed of the operation. This is a duplication of the internal hardware found inside the space ship, used for experimenting purposes. 

Arcsecond Space Telescope Enabling Research Astrophysics was made under the phantom program at JPL. The purpose of making Phaeton was to give quick career guidance from experienced mentors. 

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