NASA has begun a new initiative to help lead the quest for alien life. The Nexus for Exoplanet System Science, or NExSS, unites experts from various institutions and across disciplines like Earth science, heliophysics, astrophysics, and planetary science. This new team will search for signs of life beyond our solar system, as “NExSS scientists will not only apply a systems science approach to existing exoplanet data, their work will provide a foundation for interpreting observations of exoplanets from future exoplanet missions such as TESS, JWST, and WFIRST,” says Paul Hertz, director of the Astrophysics Division at Nasa Headquarters.

Wondering what all those letters mean? TESS is a satellite that NASA plans to launch in 2017 to look for nearby alien words. JWST is a $8.8 billion telescope that will succeed the Hubble Space Telescope in 2018. WFIRST is a potential mission that may launch in the mid-2020s to study dark energy, look for exoplanets, and perform other various telescoping tasks.