NASA spacecraft Tess aims to put mystery planets on galactic map

On the hunt for Earth 2.0: Watch NASA's TESS launch live

The much-anticipated launch of NASA's newest exoplanet hunter has been rescheduled, the US space agency announced in a brief news release.

Lift-off of NASA's Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) from Cape Canaveral in Florida is scheduled for 6:32 pm (2232 GMT).

On April 16, NASA is planning to launch its Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite, or TESS, on a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket.

While Kepler affirmed around 2,300 exoplanets and thousands of more potential planet applicants, numerous were excessively inaccessible and diminish, making it impossible to be examined further.

NASA predicts that TESS could discover in excess of 50 Earth-examined planets and to 500 planets not as much as double the extent of the Earth.

The spacecraft will scan over 200,000 stars to find small worlds in our interstellar neighborhood, a few of which could be Earth- or Super-Earth-sized. It will take Tess two weeks to circle Earth.

NASA's planet-hunting pioneer, the Kepler Space Telescope, has spent the past nine years focusing on considerably fainter, more distant stars and discovered almost three-quarters of the 3,700-plus exoplanets confirmed to date. TESS will also cover a sky area 400 times larger than that monitored by Kepler. Dr George Ricker of MIT's Kavli Institute for Astrophysics and Space Research serves as principal investigator for the mission.

An artist's concept of TESS in front of a lava planet orbiting its host star. Repetitive, periodic dips can reveal a planet or planets orbiting a star.

This meant a hard time for the astronomers studying the identified planet.

An illustration of the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite in space. After this list has been compiled, the TESS mission will conduct ground-based follow-up observations to confirm that the exoplanets candidates are true exoplanets and not false positives. Other telescopes could then measure their mass to determine whether some of them are rocky, like our home planet.

Over 24 months, TESS will fly in an egg-shaped orbit as far out as the moon, scanning 26 sectors to create a 360-degree view of space around it.

"We're expecting to find 2,000-3,000 planets that are certainly below the size of our Jupiter and a lot of them below the size of Neptune; so, the ones that have the potential for being terrestrial, for being rocky", said Jennifer Burt from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), which leads the mission.

Astronomers in the future, including those working with NASA's James Webb Space Telescope, are then expected to be able to study the atmospheres of numerous planets.

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