Starstruck by Star Trek

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FILE- In this Dec. 28, 1988, file photo shows members of the

FILE- In this Dec. 28, 1988, file photo shows members of the "Star Trek" crew, from left, Nichelle Nichols, Leonard Nimoy, George Takei, William Shatner, Walter Koenig, DeForest Kelley and James Doohan, toast the newest "Star Trek" film during a news conference at Paramount Studios. (AP Photo/Bob Galbraith,File)

52 years ago, the television show Star Trek premiered! It spawned a whole new approach to space exploration and had an impact on the world’s culture. NBC cancelled Star Trek in February 1969, 5 months before Apollo 11 landed on the moon.
The successor to the highly successful Kepler planet-hunting satellite TESS (Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite) sent the first data down last week, with new observations sent down every 13.5 days. TESS was launched on April 18, has settled into orbit and sent its first data two weeks ago, a photo of near-Sun space containing 200,000 stars, many of which could be accompanied by at least one planet. Kepler looked at just one small region of sky, but TESS will survey almost the entire sky, concentrating on about 20,000 stars where it’s expected to turn up as many as 10,000 new planets, many orbiting stars we know well.

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