Launch delay for NASA's newest planet-hunting spacecraft

Launch delay for NASA's newest planet-hunting spacecraft

The Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) is expected to lift off from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station at 6:32 pm Eastern Time which is 4:02 am (Tuesday) in India.

On the NASA website, there will be a 30-minute show on Monday at 10 am EDT by the NASA EDGE team that will talk about the TESS spacecraft and the science of looking planets outside the solar system.

The satellite known as Tess will survey nearly the entire sky, staring at the brightest, closest stars in an effort to find any planets that might be encircling them.

NASA says TESS could help answer the age-old question: Are we alone in the universe?

The rocket will carry NASA's Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) which will discover thousands of exoplanets in orbit around the brightest stars in the sky. The aging spacecraft is now low on fuel and near the end of its life. But many were too distant and dim to study further. This, as NASA said, will be 400 times larger than what Kepler observed.

Once deployed, TESS will observe stars in our solar neighborhood to find potential exoplanet candidates. They measure tiny dips in a star's brightness that could indicate a planetary body passing in front of the camera's line of sight.

The next step is for ground-based and space telescopes to peer even closer.The Hubble Space Telescope and the James Webb Space Telescope, scheduled to launch in 2020, should be able to reveal more about planets' mass, density and the makeup of their atmosphere - all clues to habitability.

That said, it is worth noting TESS won't find life on any of these worlds.

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