Advertisement

Delay for Nasa's Tess planet-hunter

Delay for Nasa's Tess planet-hunter
From BBC - April 16, 2018

The launch of Nasa's Tess planet-hunter has been postponed and it will not now lift off until Wednesday at the earliest.

The telescope was due to go up from Cape Canaveral in Florida at 18:32 local time on a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket.

But the flight was stood down some three hours before lift-off.

SpaceX said it wanted some additional time to understand an issue related to the guidance, navigation and control of its vehicle.

The company added that its teams were now working towards an 18 April launch at 18:51 EDT (2351 BST).

The BBC understands that scientists on the mission also want a delay so they can run some extra checks on the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite itself.

When Tess does get up, it will stare at stars for weeks at a time, hoping to catch the dips in brightness that occur when orbiting worlds traverse their faces.

The expectation is that it could identify some 2,000-3,000 planets in its first two years of operation.

The satellite, which carries four camera-detectors, will essentially compile a catalogue that other telescopes - both on the ground and in space - can then focus in on for more detailed analysis.

Advertisement

Continue reading at BBC »