Delay for Nasa's Tess planet-hunter

Delay for Nasa's Tess planet-hunter

The satellite, also dubbed TESS, will launch from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida, aboard a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket.

All being well, NASA is set to make its TESS launch later today from Cape Canaveral on board a Space X Falcon 9 rocket.

The satellite, TESS, is the USA space agency's newest planet-hunting spacecraft that will search for undiscovered planets outside of our solar system, known as exoplanets. "In a two-year survey of the solar neighborhood, TESS will search for tell-tale dips in the brightness of stars that indicate an orbiting planet regularly transiting across the face of its star".

The national Board of the United States of America on Aeronautics and research of space administration (NASA) launches orbiting Observatory TESS.

The spacecraft, not much larger than a refrigerator, carries four cameras that will survey the nearest, brightest stars in the sky for signs of passing planets.

Scientists from NASA are trying to discover more about exoplanets outside our solar system to find out if any have life that is similar to ours.

TESS and Kepler use the same system of detecting planetary transits, or shadows cast as they pass in front of their 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.

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The two-year, $337 million TESS mission is created to build on the work of its predecessor, the Kepler space telescope, which has discovered the bulk of some 3,700 exoplanets documented during the past 20 years and is running out of fuel.

"But since then, we have found thousands of planets orbiting others stars and we think all the stars in our galaxy must have their own family of planets".

The main aim of the TESS is to hunt the alien planets that are believed to be circling close to the sun.

NASA's new project is a quest to expand astronomers' known inventory of so-called exoplanets.

"We can measure the stars' fundamental properties".

But TESS will scan a broader swath of the heavens to focus on 200,000 pre-selected stars that are relatively nearby - some of them just dozens of light years away - and thus among the brightest as seen from Earth. Christiansen said. "We can resolve competing theories about how planets form".

The launch will send TESS into a highly elliptical orbit, according to SpaceX.

Why has TESS mission been delayed?

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