SpaceX to launch NASA spacecraft to look for alien planets

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NASA's newest planet-hunting spacecraft will have to wait another couple of days before lifting off.

According to a report by Space.com, NASA's current exoplanet hunting observatory named Kepler, has nearly exhausted its fuel supply, requiring NASA to put TESS into orbit to continue research.

The satellite known as Tess will survey nearly the entire sky, staring at the brightest, closest stars in an effort to find any planets that might be encircling them. "SpaceX will try to bring rocket upper stage back from orbital velocity using a giant party balloon", Musk wrote.

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Musk is presumably talking about the upper stage of the two-stage Falcon 9 rocket that serves as the workhorse booster for SpaceX launches.

The planned liftoff of a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket carrying NASA's Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite, or TESS, remains scheduled for 6:32 p.m. EDT Monday from Space Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. We've already seen the first-stage return to Earth and land, but now Elon Musk wants to get the second stage back, too.

The Tess Satellite could mean leaps and bounds for space exploration.

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This image made available by NASA shows an illustration of the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS).

Depending on available light, NASA can determine the size of the star as well as its planets and the length of orbits, which can give an indication of the planet's proximity to the star, which in turn can help experts determine the conditions on that planet and the chance of it supporting life. These newfound worlds eventually will become prime targets for future telescopes looking to tease out any signs of life.

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