SpaceX launch delayed, rescheduled for Wednesday

SpaceX launch delayed, rescheduled for Wednesday

SpaceX launch delayed, rescheduled for Wednesday

The launch is now scheduled for Wednesday evening. Eastern Daylight Time on Monday, April 18, 2018, from Space Launch Complex 40 at the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida.

TESS was originally conceived in 2006 as a private mission funded by, amongst others, Google and MIT.

The spacecraft is meant to be maneuvered into an unusual Earth orbit that ranges in altitude from roughly 63,000 to 200,000 miles.

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TESS's job is to spot distant planets when they pass in front of even more distant stars, a movement known to astronomers as a "transit".

That transit detection technique was pioneered by earlier probes such as NASA's Kepler telescope, which was launched in 2009. Such planets would be candidates for harboring life.

Since stars that will be surveyed by TESS will be closer and brighter than those surveyed by Kepler, the planets should be easier to characterise. This first-ever spaceborne all-sky transit survey will identify planets ranging from Earth-sized to gas giants, around a wide range of stellar types and orbital distances.

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Speaking to his 21 million fans on Twitter, Musk said the balloon will be used to slow down the rocket's upper stage, which propels the payload once in space, when it re-enters the Earth's atmosphere after completing its mission. The booster could then be reused in a future mission.

Ricker and other scientists said the planetary catalog generated by TESS could well become the guidebook for that armada.

"We know of several thousand planets now, and with Tess, we expect to find maybe 10,000 more planets", added Tom Barclay, a research scientist at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center.

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