NASA's Planet-Hunting Satellite to Launch on April 18


The launch, which is now scheduled for Wednesday, will feature a brand new Falcon 9, as opposed to the used (sorry, "flight proven") rockets that the company sometimes uses after recovering and refurbishing them.

TESS will overview much more grandiose territory than its forerunner, NASA's Kepler Space Telescope, which propelled in 2009, taking in approximately 85 percent of the skies.

The Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite, or TESS, is ready to take off at 6:32 pm (22:32 GMT) on board a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket from a NASA launchpad in Cape Canaveral, Florida.

"Launch teams are standing down to conduct additional guidance navigation and control analysis".

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NASA and SpaceX officials scrubbed Monday's planned TESS launch. The craft is set to sweep the sky as it orbits the earth for two years.

"TESS is NASA's next step in the search for planets outside of our solar system, known as exoplanets, including those that could support life". NASA TV is broadcasting TESS-related content up until the launch, even SpaceX also broadcasting the launch.

The two-year, $337 million TESS mission is created to build on the work of its predecessor, the Kepler space telescope, which has discovered the bulk of some 3,700 exoplanets documented during the past 20 years and is running out of fuel. NASA plans to send TESS into orbit on a two-year mission.

Last-minute delays for testing are not unusual for rocket launches. The planet-hunting spacecraft will use a special, highly-elliptical orbit, with a 2:1 lunar resonance, shows Spaceflight 101. NASA insists there's no chance of Tess hitting any other satellites or running into the moon, which should never be anywhere close. Though Kepler Space Telescope has been doing the same job for years, the new satellite will advance its work and look for Earth-like planetary bodies orbiting some 200,000 brightest stars close to our sun.

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Scientists hope to discover about 50 small, rocky planets that may be habitable to alien life. The first data from TESS is expected to be made public in July, and Nasa says citizen astronomers are welcome to help study the planets for signs of possible habitability.

"TESS is going to significantly build the number of planets that we need to consider", said Ricker. Repetitive, periodic dips can reveal a planet or planets orbiting a star.

"The answer we got from Kepler was that planets are everywhere and that on average, every star in the Milky Way has a planet", she said.

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