NASA Is Launching A Planet-Hunting Satellite Today

Solar panels are deployed on NASA's TESS satellite in the Payload Hazardous Servicing Facility at Kennedy Space Center

Paul Hertz, director of astrophysics at NASA Headquarters, said with those larger telescopes, "we'll be able to look for tell-tale signs in the atmospheres of those planets that might tell us what the planets are made of and perhaps even whether they have the kinds of gases that on Earth are an indication of life". NASA has touted the satellite as its "next step" in discovering additional exoplanets outside of our solar system.

NASA is poised to launch a $337 million washing machine-sized spacecraft that aims to vastly expand mankind's search for planets beyond our solar system, particularly closer, Earth-sized ones that might harbour life.

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SpaceX plans to launch its Falcon 9 rocket Wednesday evening at around 6:51p.m. The launch is now scheduled for 6:51 p.m. After launch, the rocket's first stage is set to attempt a landing on the SpaceX drone ship Of Course I Still Love You.

NASA says the spacecraft Tess will fly in a unique orbit, which will allow it to study nearly the entire sky for about two years.

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TESS will target 200,000 of the brightest stars in our celestial neighborhood, looking for the faint dimming of starlight as an exoplanet passes over a given star's disk.

NASA already stated that about 3,700 exoplanets were known through Kepler images and believe that there would be over 4,500 unknown exoplanets and about 50 exoplanets can be inhabited suspecting to have living conditions suitable for human. The resulting catalog could serve as a guidebook for more powerful planet-hunters to come. The Transitioning Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) is created to search the stars for other planets outside our solar system, and it's equipped with new tech in order for it to be able to detect relatively small planets orbiting other suns. "TESS will cast a wider net than ever before for enigmatic worlds whose properties can be probed by NASA's upcoming James Webb Space Telescope and other missions".

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