How to watch SpaceX launch NASA's new TESS planet hunter

How to watch SpaceX launch NASA's new TESS planet hunter

SpaceX and NASA have delayed a major satellite launch.

TESS is slated to launch from Cape Canaveral, Florida, at 6:32 p.m. EDT on April 16 aboard a 230-foot-tall Falcon 9 rocket.

It wrote: "Standing down today to conduct additional GNC analysis, and teams are now working towards a targeted launch of @NASA_TESS on Wednesday, April 18".

The Article from Space X's Next FALCON 9 Launch - Delay Launch of TESS.

TESS will survey the entire sky over the course of two years by breaking it up into 26 different sectors, each 24 degrees by 96 degrees across.

A new NASA satellite created to detect more Earth-like worlds around stars beyond our solar system is due for launch aboard a SpaceX rocket from Florida on Monday, on a quest to expand the known inventory of so-called exoplanets that might harbor life.

The rocket's second stage engine will fire twice before releasing TESS into an elliptical orbit about 49 minutes after launch.

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TESS has a mirror diameter of 6.5 meters, which allows it to gather much more light than it can capture the Hubble Space Telescope.

TESS is created to build on the work of its predecessor, the Kepler space telescope, which discovered the bulk of some 3,700 exoplanets documented by astronomers during the past 20 years and is about to run out of fuel. Sixty days after launch, and following tests of its instruments, the satellite will begin its initial two-year mission. The Moon pulls the satellite on one side, and by the time TESS completes one orbit, the Moon is on the other side tugging in the opposite direction. If planets are everywhere, then it is time for us to find the planets that are closest to us orbiting bright nearby stars, because these will be the touchstone system.

An artist's concept of TESS in front of a lava planet orbiting its host star.

Astronomers in the future, including those working with NASA's James Webb Space Telescope, are then expected to be able to study the atmospheres of numerous planets.

"TESS is going to significantly build the number of planets that we need to consider", said Ricker. It also used the "transit technique" to confirm more than 2,000 so-called exoplanets.

Kepler, Boyd said, was created to answer one question: how common are Earth-like planets orbiting in the habitable zones of sun-like stars. We can say how massive they are and how old they are.

"Kepler is what made us become aware that planets are as common as telephone poles", SETI Institute astronomer Seth Shostak told Space.com.

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