A charge injection device from Florida Tech’s Department of Physics and Space Sciences that could help capture the dim light from planets around very bright stars will be installed on the International Space Station after it was carried there on a SpaceX cargo mission that launched Feb. 19 from Kennedy Space Center.
The device, known as a CID, was part of about 5,500 pounds of research equipment, cargo and supplies packed into the Dragon spacecraft that lifted off at 9:39 a.m. aboard the Falcon 9 rocket. The launch was the first commercial launch from KSC’s historic Launch Complex 39A.
A study led by Florida Tech astrophysicist Daniel Batcheldor has demonstrated that a charge a CID has the ability to capture light from objects tens of millions of times fainter than another object in the same picture. An exoplanet next to bright star is one such example.