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Mon Apr 16, 2018, 05:42 PM

Nasa to launch Tess on hunt for 20,000 new worlds (space.com) {launch postponed to Wed}

If the vagaries of weather and rocket science do not intervene, the most ambitious search for alien worlds around the brightest stars in the sky will begin on Monday with the launch of Nasa’s newest planet-hunting spacecraft.

After final preparations at the weekend, the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite, or Tess, is on course for take off as early as 6.32pm local time (11.32pm UK) from Cape Canaveral in Florida, the first opportunity mission controllers have to launch in a window that remains open until June.

The lofting of hardware high into space often calls for a holding of breath, but for those who have ploughed time and money into the $200m (£140m) Tess space telescope there is an extra frisson. Theirs is the first Nasa mission to hitch a ride on a Falcon 9, a rocket made by Elon Musk’s SpaceX company, and which was certified for such missions only in February.

Barring any mishaps, such as a “rapid unscheduled disassembly” – a glorious euphemism Musk used to describe the explosion of a Falcon 9 rocket stage in 2015 – Tess will be flung into a highly elliptical orbit around Earth that has never been attempted before. The space telescope will swing as far out as the moon as it scours the heavens for planets, then swoop back towards Earth to beam home its data. Each orbit will take nearly 14 days.

“Right now, everything is go for a launch on Monday,” said Stephen Rinehart, the Tess project scientist at Nasa’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Maryland. “Putting stuff up in space is not without risk, but at this point there is nothing more we can do. We think we’ve got a spacecraft that is ready to kick ass once it’s up in orbit.”
more: https://www.theguardian.com/science/2018/apr/15/nasa-to-launch-tess-on-hunt-for-20000-new-worlds

NASA and SpaceX Delay Launch of TESS, a New Planet Hunter (NYT)

By Dennis Overbye
April 16, 2018

There’s a great world next door. Let’s go.

The search for alien worlds and perhaps alien life will take another step outward this week when TESS, the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite, is launched into orbit around the Earth. TESS will spend at least two years scrutinizing the entire sky for exoplanets — planets around other stars — within about 300 light years from here. The worlds next door.
When is the launch and how can I watch it?

The launch was postponed from Monday, and rescheduled for Wednesday. It should be available on NASA’s website nasa.gov/live.

SpaceX, whose rocket will carry TESS into space, said on Twitter that additional guidance and navigation work was needed before the spacecraft could be launched. NASA said that TESS is in “excellent health, and remains ready for launch.”

Standing down today to conduct additional GNC analysis, and teams are now working towards a targeted launch of @NASA_TESS on Wednesday, April 18.
— SpaceX (@SpaceX) April 16, 2018

more: https://www.nytimes.com/2018/04/16/science/tess-nasa-spacex-launch.html

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Reply Nasa to launch Tess on hunt for 20,000 new worlds (space.com) {launch postponed to Wed} (Original post)
eppur_se_muova Apr 2018 OP
byronius Apr 2018 #1
nitpicker Apr 2018 #2
edbermac Apr 2018 #3
eppur_se_muova Apr 2018 #4

Response to eppur_se_muova (Original post)

Mon Apr 16, 2018, 09:24 PM

1. In a better world this kind of project would high profile in both news and entertainment.

This is where I want my tax dollars to be spent. AWESOME.

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Response to eppur_se_muova (Original post)

Wed Apr 18, 2018, 04:12 AM

2. From NASA's webpage

Wednesday, April 18, 6:30 p.m.: NASA TV coverage of the launch of TESS, NASA's new planet-hunting mission. Launch is targeted at 6:51 p.m. TESS, the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite, is an all-sky survey mission that will discover thousands of exoplanets around nearby bright stars. TESS is scheduled for launch aboard a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket from Space Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida.

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Response to eppur_se_muova (Original post)

Wed Apr 18, 2018, 05:39 PM

3. Another landing attempt!

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