NASA to launch TESS telescope on planet-hunting mission

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NASA to launch TESS telescope on planet-hunting mission

TESS continues the hunt for exoplanets with a focus on detecting Earth-sized and larger planets orbiting the nearest stars to our solar system, a mere 200 light years away.

"One of the many unbelievable things that Kepler told us is that planets are everywhere and there are all kinds of planets out there".

Severe storms Sunday night that held the potential to delay the rocket from going vertical were expected to clear for Monday's 30-second launch window.

In a 2-year survey of the solar neighborhood, TESS will monitor the brightness of those stars for the periodic drops caused by planet transits. Once those planets are identified by TESS, scientists can zoom in on them using other telescopes, study their atmospheres and atmospheric conditions, and even look for signs of habitability. The booster from the rocket can then be reused in a future mission.

"These are the exoplanets that will be easiest to follow up, so that we can study the planets in great detail and learn more about their characteristics", Paul Hertz, who heads NASA's astrophysics division, said during a pre-launch briefing. TESS is equipped with four advanced cameras, that will scan an area which is spread about 350 times more than the area that covers by TESS and it comprises about 85 percent of the sky during the first two years. But the Falcon 9 lifting off today is brand-new, Hans Koenigsmann, SpaceX vice president of build and flight reliability, said during a pre-launch briefing yesterday (April 15).

The launch will be broadcast on NASA website or on its live YouTube stream which you will find below.

"TESS is equipped with four very sensitive cameras that will be able to monitor almost the entire sky", said George Ricker, TESS principal investigator at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

That footage showed Musk's red Tesla Roadster flying around Earth with a spacesuit-clad dummy in the driver seat. "That is why we did it". "When you're now approaching the question of are we along in the universe you've suddenly got a whole treasure chest of planets that could be in the position to support life". SpaceX recently ran into a licensing snag with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration over its broadcasting video from orbit during commercial missions. NASA insists there's no chance of Tess hitting any other satellites or running into the moon, which should never be anywhere close.

"There is no such restriction on government missions", a SpaceX representative told Business Insider in an email.

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