TESS Launch Postponed For Tomorrow Due To Falcon 9 Issue


TESS will launch from Space Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, as long as the weather is "favourable", on board at SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket.

"Launch teams are standing down today to conduct additional guidance navigation and control analysis, and teams are now working towards a targeted launch of the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) on Wednesday, 18 April", Nasa said.

In 24 months, the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (Tess) should have sampled 85 percent of the heavens, taking in some 500,000 stars - many of which will be among the nearest and brightest in the sky.

The mission is called TESS, short for Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite, and it will spend two years scanning nearly the entire sky to search for alien worlds.

The name Tess is short for Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite.

TESS uses the same method as Kepler for finding potential planets, by tracking the dimming of light when a celestial body passes in front of a star.

"Kepler broke open the field in a rather dramatic way", Ricker said - demonstrating that for every star in the sky, there are untold numbers of exoplanets waiting to be found. Repetitive, periodic dips can reveal a planet or planets orbiting a star.

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The TESS mission coincides with the debut of powerful new ground- and space-based observatories, including NASA's James Webb Space Telescope, which is scheduled to launch in 2020.

"TESS will discover new potential planets orbiting bright host stars relatively close to Earth", SpaceX said in a press release.

The TESS mission is expected to pinpoint thousands more previously unknown worlds, out of which hundred may be Earth-sized or no larger than twice the size of Earth as such planets would be most likely to feature rocky surfaces or oceans, making them more hospitable to life forms. "Those small stars will produce the biggest signals, and we have to start somewhere", says Angus, who remains hopeful about what could be found.

Kepler, the first planet-hunting mission of its kind, "was launched to answer one single question: How common is a planet like Earth around a star like the Sun?" said Patricia "Padi" Boyd, director of the TESS guest investigator programme at Nasa's Goddard Spaceflight Centre.

SpaceX should go live with the YouTube video embedded below some 15 to 20 minutes before TESS's 6:32 p.m. EDT launch target on Monday.

Why has TESS mission been delayed?