Space Exploration: Not Once In A Blue Moon Anymore
It was not a long time ago when NASA monopolizes the space industry. It was because of the works of different scientists and engineers through the years that your chance of exploring beyond Earth is not once in a blue moon anymore.
Since space exploration is a very lucrative field, usually government funded space organizations like NASA and European Space Agency are the only institutions capable of conducting researches in the outer space. Until then, Twinkle Mission proved that space exploration is not about the big funding, but about big passion in discovery. Twinkle Mission is a project led by scientists and researchers from the University College London that aims to research about exoplanets orbiting other stars outside our solar system. The major difference about this space exploration is that the Twinkle Mission costs just a small fraction as compared to a NASA funded space explorations. Most of the fund for this project are public and privately sourced.
Minimal cost in space exploration, how is this possible? The key is to this is to work "smarter". As stated in their official website, Twinkle Mission uses new instruments that were crafted by the collaboration of resident UCL engineers and scientists. They developed an instrument to study an exoplanet from a distance through analyzing the light (visible to infrared spectrum) emitted from a distant star.
Since different molecules have a distinct light absorbance, UCL scientists claims that through this patterns they could detect several organic and inorganic substances present in the exoplanet. The scientists also confirmed that data gathered by Twinkle is capable of identifying if there are indications of life in an exoplanet since it has high sensitivity in detecting several precursors of amino acids, which are the building blocks of proteins.
Twinkle Mission will be launched by 2019. Further preparations for the launch is expected to be finished by the end of this year. This project opens a bright future for space exploration that is fueled more with passion rather than with money.