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SpaceX launches NASA’s new planet-hunting Satellite TESS(Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite)

SpaceX launches NASA’s new planet-hunting Satellite TESS(Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite)

The Transiting Survey Satellite is a space telescope for NASAR7;s Explorers program, designed to search for exoplanets using the transit method in an area 400 times larger than that covered by the Kepler mission.

The launch has been delayed more than once already: originally scheduled for March 20, it slipped to April 16 (Monday), then some minor issues pushed it to April 19, 2018 at 3:51 PM Pacific time. You can watch the launch below:

The technique it will use is fundamentally the same as that employed by NASA’s long-running and highly successful Kepler mission. When distant plants pass between us and their star, it causes a momentary decrease in that star’s brightness.

TESS will monitor thousands of stars simultaneously for such “transits,” watching a single section of sky for a month straight before moving on to another.

By two years, it will have imaged 85 percent of the sky; hundreds of times the area Kepler observed, and on completely different stars: brighter ones that should yield more data.

TESS, which is about the size of a small car, was launched on top of a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket. SpaceX will attempt to recover the first stage of the rocket by having it land on a drone ship, and the nose cone will, get a gentle parachute-assisted splashdown in the Atlantic, where it too can be retrieved.

Credits: https://techcrunch.com/2018/04/18/watch-spacex-launch-nasas-new-planet-hunting-satellite-here/

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