The launch of the TESS satellite into orbit will allow scientists to look for exoplanets circling 200,000 stars.
In what will be a big moment for NASA, SpaceX is preparing to launch a rocket on Monday that will put an incredible satellite into orbit capable of looking for countless exoplanets in orbit around tens of thousands of stars. The Transit Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) will be the payload aboard a Falcon 9 rocket that will launchat Cape Cavaveral Air Force Station.
SpaceX just completed a static fire of the Falcon 9 rocket last Wednesday in advance of the launch, and TESS was sealed in its payload fairing in preparation for putting it on top of the rocket. TESS arrived in Feburary after it was constructed and tested at a facility in Virginia run by Orbital ATK.
The satellite will be capabl eof searching for exoplanets around 200,000 stars, and it will be an appetizer for the main course in the coming years of the James Webb Telescope, the most powerful space telescope ever built that may lead to huge breakthroughs in the coming years as it looks deep into outer space.
“NASA’s Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite, or TESS, is making strides toward its upcoming liftoff,” reads a NASA statement. “The planet-hunting spacecraft is slated to launch from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station’s Space Launch Complex 40 on Monday, April 16, aboard a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket. Inside Kennedy Space Center’s Payload Hazardous Servicing Facility, the TESS spacecraft was sealed within the Falcon 9 payload fairing in preparation for its move to the launch pad.”