NASA to launch its TESS Exoplanet Mission in a SpaceX Falcon 9

NASA to launch its TESS Exoplanet Mission in a SpaceX Falcon 9

Musk is presumably talking about the upper stage of the two-stage Falcon 9 rocket that serves as the workhorse booster for SpaceX launches.

Meteorologists with the U.S. Air Force 45th Space Wing continue to predict an 80 percent chance of favorable weather for liftoff.

TESS is designed as a follow-on to the United States space agency's Kepler spacecraft, which was the first of its kind and launched in 2009.

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.

Once deployed, TESS will observe stars in our solar neighborhood to find potential exoplanet candidates.

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Henry Roman, a teacher from Columbian Elementary School in northwest Denver, said class size is a pressing issue in his city. But advocates are pushing for more because the state is now underfunding schools by about $830 million, Dallman said.

"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".

That said, it is worth noting TESS won't find life on any of these worlds. Scientists at the space agency expect TESS to add hundreds of Earth-sized and super-Earth-sized planets into the existing catalog of exoplanets and bolster our search for life beyond Earth.

The satellite on board uses four cameras to hunt for exoplanets around stars.

NASA TV and SpaceX both will be live streaming the launch of the satellite. SpaceX has proved itself to be interested in reusing its rocket pieces as often as it can, and this plan is just one more way to turn space travel into a more efficient affair. Once these exoplanets are detected, using the known planet size, orbit and mass, TESS and ground-based follow-up team will be able to determine the planets' compositions.

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