Watch SpaceX launch NASA’s new planet-hunting satellite here

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It’s nearly time for SpaceX to launch NASA’s TESS, an area telescope that may search for exoplants across nearly the entire night sky. The launch has been delayed greater than as soon as already: initially scheduled for March 20, it slipped to April 16 (Monday), then some minor points pushed it to in the present day — at 3:51 PM Pacific time, to be exact. You’ll be able to watch the launch stay under.

TESS, which stands for Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite, is principally an enormous wide-angle camera (4 of them, truly) that may snap footage of the evening sky from a large, eccentric and by no means earlier than tried orbit.

The approach it’s going to use is basically the identical as that employed by NASA’s long-running and extremely profitable Kepler mission. When distant vegetation cross between us and their star, it causes a momentary lower in that star’s brightness. TESS will monitor hundreds of stars concurrently for such “transits,” watching a single part of sky for a month straight earlier than shifting on to a different.

By two years, it’s going to have imaged 85 p.c of the sky — tons of of instances the world Kepler noticed, and on utterly totally different stars: brighter ones that ought to yield extra information.

TESS, which is in regards to the dimension of a small automotive, will launch on prime of a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket. SpaceX will try to get well the primary stage of the rocket by having it land on a drone ship, and the nostril cone will, hopefully, get a delicate parachute-assisted splashdown within the Atlantic, the place it too will be retrieved.

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The feed under ought to go stay 15 minutes earlier than launch, or at about 3:35.

Source : TechCrunch