(The AEGIS Alliance) – SpaceX’s launch of NASA’S latest exoplanet-hunting spacecraft on Wednesday was successful. This should allow scientists to more efficiently detect signs of life atmospherically.
The rocket took off moments before 7 p.m. Eastern Time from Cape Canaveral, Florida. The SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket carried the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS). It is expected to be able to identify thousands of planets in our cosmic backyard. This adds to the bounty provided during the last decade by NASA’s Kepler Space Telescope.
SpaceX made a tweet on Wednesday that all weather and systems were a go for launch. SpaceX had delayed Monday’s countdown for additonal rocket checks.
— SpaceX (@SpaceX) April 18, 2018
“The search for worlds beyond our solar system continues today with the launch of our @NASA_TESS spacecraft,” NASA tweeted in the afternoon on Wednesday.
This spacecraft has the expectation to get a view of hundreds of thousands of shining neighboring stars, to seek exoplanets which could have the conditions for supporting life.
The discovered planets by Kepler are too far away and too dim to study in practical ways. However, the exoplanets revealed by TESS will be near enough for future mega telescopes to detect any signs of life in the atmosphere.
It’s been a busy three weeks for SpaceX, which launched its 14th mission to resupply the International Space Station (ISS) on April the 2nd. It sent a reused cargo ship loaded with equipment and supplies to the orbiting laboratory.
On March the 30th, a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket was successful at launching ten next-generation satellites for Iridium Communications that took place in California.
Featured Image: SpaceX via Twitter
Kyle James Lee – The AEGIS Alliance – This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.