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Watch SpaceX launch NASA’s new exoplanet-hunting satellite this afternoon

The Verge Monday, 16 April 2018 ()
Watch SpaceX launch NASA’s new exoplanet-hunting satellite this afternoonThis afternoon, SpaceX will send a refrigerator-sized satellite into orbit for NASA to hunt for distant worlds far outside our Solar System. Called TESS, it’s the first NASA spacecraft that SpaceX will launch that is designed to peer deep into the cosmos.

TESS is NASA’s newest exoplanet hunter. The probe is tasked with staring at stars tens to hundreds of light-years from Earth, watching to see if they blink. When a planet passes in front of a distant star, it dims the star’s light ever so slightly. TESS will measure these twinkles from a 13.7-day orbit that extends as far out as the distance of the Moon.

"it will take about 60 days after launch for TESS to get to its intended orbit"

The satellite won’t get to its final orbit today....
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News video: SpaceX Is Launching NASA's New Planet Hunter

▶ SpaceX Is Launching NASA's New Planet Hunter 00:45

NASA plans to launch a new planet-hunting telescope on Wednesday at 6:51 p.m. EST aboard a SpaceX rocket. The telescope, called the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS), may find thousands of worlds relatively close to Earth. Scientists hope to discover about 50 small, rocky planets that may...

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