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Launch of planet-hunting spacecraft delayed

  • In this image released by SpaceX, NASA' s Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (Tess) sits atop a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket at Space Launch Complex 40, Monday, April 16, 2018, in Cape Canaveral, Fla. NASA’s newest planet-hunting spacecraft is poised for a Monday evening launch. The Tess satellite will survey almost the entire sky, staring at the brightest, closest stars in an effort to find any planets that might be encircling them. (SpaceX via AP)

  • This image made available by NASA shows an illustration of the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS). Scheduled for an April 2018 launch, the spacecraft will prowl for planets around the closest, brightest stars. These newfound worlds eventually will become prime targets for future telescopes looking to tease out any signs of life. (NASA via AP)



Associated Press
Monday, April 16, 2018

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. — NASA’s newest planet-hunting spacecraft will have to wait another two days before lifting off.

Two hours before Monday evening’s scheduled liftoff, SpaceX announced it was delaying the launch for additional rocket analysis. The next attempt will be Wednesday.

The satellite known as Tess will survey almost the entire sky, staring at the brightest, closest stars in an effort to find any planets that might be encircling them. These mysterious worlds beyond our solar system, called exoplanets, could harbor life.

Scientists expect Tess to discover thousands of rocky and icy planets and gas giants, maybe even water worlds and places defying imagination. Bigger and more powerful observatories of the future will scrutinize these prime candidates for potential signs of life.

The name Tess is short for Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite.