Mission developers at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, have squandered interaction with the Asteria satellite, a luggage-sized spacecraft developed to examine planets outside our Solar System. The last completed mission with Asteria was back in December 2019. Now, we should expect another contact with the spacecraft in March.
Asteria is part of a type of satellites dubbed CubeSats, which differ in dimension but are usually smaller than luggage. Disposed into Earth from the space station back in 2017, the technology mission displayed that many methods needed for studying and probably for finding exoplanets can be withdrawn to fit on small satellites. Long-term, the project intended to showcase that not so large satellites could sometimes be utilized to assist more significant exoplanet projects, such as NASA’s Transiting Exoplanet Satellite Survey (TESS).
Asteria noticed some close stars and successfully proved that it could get precision measurements of the star’s brightness. With such results, researchers search for dips in a star’s light. By doing that, it would display an orbiting planet crossing between the satellite and the star. Mission information is still being examined to prove whether Asteria noticed any distant worlds.
JPL’s Lorraine Desq, stated: “The ASTERIA project achieved outstanding results during its three-month prime mission and its nearly two-year-long extended mission. Although we are disappointed that we lost contact with the spacecraft, we are thrilled with all that we have accomplished with this impressive CubeSat.”
Since finishing its main mission goals back in February 2018, ASTERIA had moved on with its operating through three project extensions. During that period, it has been utilized as an in-space device to check many capabilities to make CubeSats more self-governing. ASTERIA also realized opportunistic examinations of our planet, a comet, stars that could host transiting exoplanets, and other spacecraft in geosynchronous orbit.