liftoff scheduled for mid-April
BREVARD COUNTY • CAPE CANAVERAL, FLORIDA (SpaceFlightNow.com) – NASA’s Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite has arrived on the Kennedy Space Center in Florida for last testing, fueling and attachment to a Falcon 9 launcher for liftoff in mid-April, a delay of almost one month to permit SpaceX extra time to organize the rocket for the mission.
Once launched, TESS will scan the sky with 4 wide-field astronomical cameras, looking for periodic dips within the brightness of greater than 200,000 of the closest and brightest stars. The dimming is a tell-tale signal of a planet passing in entrance of the star.
The spacecraft arrived on the Florida launch base Monday after a truck cargo from its Orbital ATK manufacturing facility in Dulles, Virginia. Engineers and technicians will prep TESS for launch contained in the Payload Hazardous Servicing Facility at Kennedy, the identical clear room utilized by NASA’s Cassini, New Horizons, Mars rovers, OSIRIS-REx and quite a few different missions earlier than their launches.
TESS was scheduled to launch no sooner than March 20 from Cape Canaveral, however NASA introduced Thursday a brand new goal launch date of no sooner than April 16. That launch date is pending approval from the U.S. Air Force’s Eastern Range, which supplies monitoring, communications and security assist for all rocket missions from Cape Canaveral.
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NASA Exoplanet Satellite Arrives At Kennedy Space Center, Set For April Launch From Cape Canaveral by: Elie Abi Younes published: