NASA Disconnected from Spacecraft Exploring New Planets
NASA announced that it has not been able to communicate with its satellite “ASTERIA” since 5 December 2019. The attempt to communicate with the vehicle that explores new planets in space will continue until March.
A spacecraft NASA used to investigate invisible planets may have been lost forever. According to the NASA statement, the planets outside the Solar System (exoplanets) used to observe the size of the bag ‘ASTERIA’ spacecraft lost communication.
While communication with ASTERIA was wired on December 5, 2019, NASA announced that it would continue to try to reach the spacecraft until next March. ASTERIA program manager Lorraine Fesq noted that the spacecraft achieved significant results in its first quarter and its expanded mission for two years.
Fesq added that they regretted having lost communication with the satellite, but were excited about what they had achieved with the cubic satellite. The spacecraft, called Cubic Satellite (CubeSat), has been sending data to NASA since 2017. ASTERIA, which completed its main duty in February 2018, has held three more positions since then. The small space telescope was placed in orbit around the International Space Station.
In addition to the search for planets in space, ASTERIA was also used as a platform to explore ways to make cubic satellites more autonomous using artificial intelligence. According to NASA, ASTERIA was preparing the ground for the use of smaller and cheaper satellites via cubic satellites. It was also thought to be complementary to larger telescopes such as the Transiting Exoplanet Satellite Survey (TESS). Scientists are still examining data from ASTERIA to see if the mini-telescope has discovered new worlds away from our solar system.
Known as NASA’s gezegen planet hunter T, TESS is equipped with 4 cameras that allow it to display 85 percent of all space it scans. These cameras will display space in 26 pieces. For more than 300 light years, TESS explores stars that are orbiting planets outside the nearby solar system. ASTERIA is considered important to show that the discovery of planets outside the Solar System can also be made through cubic satellites.