SpaceX launch delayed, rescheduled for Wednesday

SpaceX launch delayed, rescheduled for Wednesday

Nasa predicts that TESS will discover 20,000 exoplanets - or planets outside the solar system - including more than 50 Earth-sized planets and up to 500 planets less than twice the size of Earth.

The launch is now scheduled for Wednesday evening.

By focusing on planets dozens to hundreds of light-years way, TESS may enable future breakthroughs, he said.

As SpaceX attempts to do with most of its Falcon 9 rockets, eight minutes after the launch, it will attempt to land the rocket's first stage on a ship offshore in the Atlantic Ocean.

TESS's job is to spot distant planets when they pass in front of even more distant stars, a movement known to astronomers as a "transit". These events are called transits, hence TESS' name.

"But since then, we have found thousands of planets orbiting others stars and we think all the stars in our galaxy must have their own family of planets". Powerful cameras on TESS will monitor each section for at least 27 days at a time, looking at the brightest stars. "We're going to be able study individual planets and start talking about the differences between planets". This is the first time that humans have used an orbiting surveyor to search almost the entire sky for new planets, compared to previous efforts that have scanned just a tiny percentage of what we can see.

After the TESS launch has compiled a list of candidate exoplanets, ground-based surveys, using telescopes here on Earth, will use this data to look at each planet's composition to see if they're rocky, like Earth, or gas giants like Jupiter. "It's really a scout for this whole process".

NASA says TESS could help answer the age-old question: Are we alone in the universe?