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Aw Shit

- Wed, 17 Jun 2015 17:51:11 EST KlwZpL5U No.55418
File: 1434577871926.jpg -(325142B / 317.52KB, 650x488) Thumbnail displayed, click image for full size. Aw Shit
I just started work at MIT, working on the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite [TESS] program. Ask me stuff about space & shit, I can answer it for you.
Irwin Shapiro - Wed, 17 Jun 2015 18:08:31 EST FyXGVhqE No.55419 Reply
Are you a postgrad, technician, academic or summer student?
Margaret Burbidge - Wed, 17 Jun 2015 18:58:40 EST AT0CJ1GF No.55420 Reply
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How bad does it suck trying to launch an exoplanet survey satellite on a budget of under $250 M and how far over budget is this project likely to go?
Giovanni Cassini - Wed, 17 Jun 2015 19:39:34 EST KlwZpL5U No.55421 Reply
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My title is Electro-Mechanical Technician. I am working with the thermal vacuum chambers to test the camera CCD and lens assembly.

Surprisingly, it seems like this project is well managed, and we have a pretty loose budget. Of course, getting into space is expensive though, thus we also bought a ride on a Falcon 9 to save cost. Its aiming for a 2017 launch, and we are just starting to test the CCD and cameras in vacuum. I think we're on track, then again, knowing NASA I wouldn't doubt cost overruns on their end.
Irwin Shapiro - Wed, 17 Jun 2015 20:18:59 EST jOF47H5F No.55422 Reply
Why did you become interested in this line of work?
Edwin Salpeter - Wed, 17 Jun 2015 20:57:17 EST KlwZpL5U No.55423 Reply
I've wanted to get into this type of work since a young age. I was very lucky to get this job, and I initially thought I was not qualified. However, something worked out and I got in for an interview. Enthusiasm is key, i think its what got me this gig.

Pay is good, benefits are generous, and the work is genuinely interesting.
Jan Hendrik Oort - Wed, 17 Jun 2015 22:38:24 EST XJHlYsmW No.55424 Reply
Any idea when the launch date is?
Fred Hoyle - Fri, 19 Jun 2015 06:44:57 EST YHjXylC8 No.55426 Reply
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Do you feel the current method of detecting planets in the habitable zone is exhaustive enough to extrapolate an upper bound on how frequently rocky planets where water exists in all three phases occur, at least for certain classes of stars?

Also, did you get a cool mission patch?
William Herschel - Fri, 19 Jun 2015 22:26:23 EST KlwZpL5U No.55427 Reply
Good question!
This mission is designed to find candidate star systems for follow up observation by more sophisticated telescopes, like the JWST or GMT. What this means is that our mission is to simply characterize and catalogue as many candidate systems as possible. After speaking with a professor on the program yesterday, he explained that simulations of one year of operation showed a potential catologue of up to 75 earth mass exoplanets, up to 150 between earth and Neptune mass, and more in the Jupiter size class.
However, These candidates are going to be in orbit around the best candidate stars for water to exist, namely red dwarfs and smaller main sequence stars. It is hard to say which ones could have all three phases. At least what TESS can tell you is the mass, period, and a brief sniff of the atmosphere (if you subtract the star spectra before a transit from the spectra during a transit, you get a vague idea of the atmosphere composition).

Alas I have not gotten my patch yet. I'm hoping to score a TESS patch and a CHANDRA patch, cause that's' another one of our missions.
William Herschel - Fri, 19 Jun 2015 22:27:25 EST KlwZpL5U No.55428 Reply
I'm also on my phone, so, sorry for the wall of text with no format.

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