NASA's newest planet-hunting telescope is set to launch into orbit on Monday aboard a rocket built by Elon Musk's aerospace company, SpaceX.
The new spacecraft is called the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite, or TESS.
Scientists at MIT who planned the mission say they could discover thousands of new worlds within 24 months — including 50 Earth-size planets that might be habitable to aliens.
TESS is slated to launch from Cape Canaveral, Florida, at 6:32 p.m. EDT aboard a 230-foot-tall Falcon 9 rocket. SpaceX will try to recover the rocket's 16-story booster in a bid to save millions of dollars.
"TESS will discover new potential planets orbiting bright host stars relatively close to Earth," SpaceX said in a press release. "In a two-year survey of the solar neighborhood, TESS will search for tell-tale dips in the brightness of stars that indicate an orbiting planet regularly transiting across the face of its star."
If there's any bad weather, technical glitches, or other problems, SpaceX may delay the launch to 6:13 p.m. EDT on Tuesday.Read Complete Article