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The year 2020 might be a massive year for NASA with several upcoming projects. However,they are off to a rocky start for the space business enterprise, as it announced it lost contact with the ASTERIA satellite, a small spacecraft assigned to search for planets outside the Solar System.

Arcsecond Space Telescope Enabling Research in Astrophysics (ASTERIA)is a briefcase-size Cubesat satellite that experts formed to hunt for exoplanets using tools and elements narrowed down for the small spaceship. Researchers also trained ASTERIA to show how such small craft hunts for exoplanets

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NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) announced it lost contact with the ASTERIA satellite on December 5 last year. The spacecraft became observing "a handful of close by stars" and became capable of demonstrating "that it may obtain precise measurements of the stars' brightness," the employer said in a launch dated January 3.

Ground teams on Earth would continue to make contact attempts until March. While ASTERIA is currently out of reach, the spacecraft - which launched on November 20, 2017 - exceeded its required two-month time frame to reach primary mission goals. The probe also flew through three mission extensions.

According to NASA JPL, scientists search for mixtures in a star's light - called the 'transit method' - that might suggest an orbiting planet passing among the satellite and the elements with those data. Mission facts are still analyzed to confirm whether or not ASTERIA noticed any distant worlds.

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NASA said ASTERIA had been used to check a variety of functions to make CubeSats extra autonomous, along with the use of synthetic intelligence since it completed its first mission in February 2018. The space agency added the spacecraft also made opportunistic observations of the Earth, a comet, different satellites in geosynchronous orbit, and stars that would host transiting exoplanets.

The assignment became a collaboration between NASA and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, wherein astrophysicist Sara Seager served as ASTERIA's leading researcher. The Heising-Simons Foundation partially funded the extensive functions.

In a statement, JPL's Lorraine Fesq, current ASTERIA software manager, said that the spacecraft's challenge achieved high-quality results at some point in its three-month prime venture, and its nearly two-year-long additional test.

While the team was dismayed that they lost touch with the spacecraft, Fesq said they are "pleased" to have worked with the spectacular CubeSat.

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ASTERIA could also aid with missions inclusive of the Transiting Exoplanet Satellite Survey (TESS), the substitute for the Kepler satellite. TESS has made several exoplanet discoveries, along with its latest locate of an alien international that "should not exist" in its contemporary location.

Scientists, even if NASA is not able to regain contact with ASTERIA, would still be able to conduct experiments on the autonomy programs using the venture testbed, a duplicate of the craft's internal hardware.

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