SpaceX to launch NASA planet hunter TESS

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NASA

TESS, the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite, is the next step in the search for planets outside of our solar system.

SpaceX is getting set to launch a satellite for NASA that aims to discover thousands of planets over two years.

NASA’s Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) is slated to head into orbit on Monday night aboard a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket. Nicknamed “the planet hunter,” the $337 million TESS is a follow-up to NASA’s Kepler spacecraft, which spent the last eight years searching the skies for as many planets outside our solar system as possible.

Kepler discovered over 2,600 planets but is estimated to be only months away from running out of fuel and ending its mission. TESS will use its four wide-angle cameras to scan 400 times as much sky as Kepler, focusing on a range closer to Earth.



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