Launch of planet-hunting spacecraft scheduled for Wednesday evening

Artist concept of TESS in front of a lava planet orbiting its host star

TESS's launch was originally scheduled for yesterday, but was rescheduled for tonight after weather concerns put the safety of the launch into question.

SpaceX equipped its Falcon 9 rocket for future takeoff to launch an effective planet-hunting satellite to monitor the light from stars.

For the second time this week, NASA will attempt to launch its Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite - TESS - aboard a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida.

The Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite, or TESS, during assembly and checkout. Scientists said they hope TESS will ultimately help catalog at least 100 more rocky exoplanets for further study in what has become one of astronomy's newest fields of exploration.

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The Article from SpaceX Planned to Launch Falcon 9 .

Astronomers expect to identify more than 1,500 exoplanet candidates, including about 500 worlds that range from less than Earth's width to twice its width ("Super Earths"). The probe will execute a series of maneuvers to settle into an orbit that will allow its four telescopic cameras to cover 85 percent of the entire sky over the course of a two-year primary mission. NASA's Kennedy Space Center also confirmed on Twitter that the launch would proceed April 18.

The goal of this project is to answer the question, are we really alone? The targets TESS finds are going to be fantastic subjects for research for decades to come. "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".

"We learned from Kepler that there are more planets than stars in our sky, and now TESS will open our eyes to the variety of planets around some of the closest stars", said Paul Hertz, Astrophysics Division director at NASA Headquarters.

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