APR 16, 2018 4:27 PM PDT

SpaceX Delays TESS Launch

WRITTEN BY: Anthony Bouchard

SpaceX was originally poised to ignite the engines of one of its flagship Falcon 9 rockets Monday evening, but it now seems that some unexpected delays have scrubbed those plans.

The commercial space company’s Falcon 9 rocket stands tall at a launch pad located in Cape Canaveral, Florida. Sitting quietly inside the rocket’s storage bay is NASA’s Transitioning Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS).

An artist's impression of the TESS spacecraft.

Image Credit: NASA

While delays like the one experienced on Monday are never ideal, it was necessary so that SpaceX could obtain additional time for reviewing the Falcon 9 rocket’s navigation system, among other things.

"Launch teams are standing down today to conduct additional GNC (guidance, navigation, and control) analysis," SpaceX explained in a public statement on Twitter.

Fortunately, the review process shouldn’t take too long; SpaceX will reportedly attempt the launch once again during the evening of Wednesday, April 18th.

The launch of TESS is significant given the timing. As NASA’s Kepler Space Telescope copes with limited fuel resources, TESS can pick up where it leaves off. Furthermore, TESS’ superior observation equipment should help astronomers discover and study a bevy of new exoplanets.

"TESS is equipped with four very sensitive cameras that will be able to monitor nearly the entire sky," said George Ricker, TESS’ principal investigator from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). "That is about 20 times what the Kepler mission was able to detect."

Assuming TESS reaches outer space on the newly-planned date, it will then undergo a 60-day probationary period in which NASA engineers will test the spacecraft’s equipment to ensure proper function.

If all goes well, TESS will begin scanning the sky for dips in starlight, which indicate the presence of an exoplanet orbiting its host star many light years away from Earth.

For now, we’ll just have to wait and see whether SpaceX moves forward with its newfangled launch date.

Source: SpaceX via BBC, Phys.org

About the Author
Other
Fascinated by scientific discoveries and media, Anthony found his way here at LabRoots, where he would be able to dabble in the two. Anthony is a technology junkie that has vast experience in computer systems and automobile mechanics, as opposite as those sound.
You May Also Like
OCT 25, 2022
Space & Astronomy
Detection of the Brightest Gamma-Ray Burst Ever
Detection of the Brightest Gamma-Ray Burst Ever
On October 9, 2022, telescopes detected one of the brightest gamma-ray bursts ever! A gamma-ray burst (GRB) is an extrem ...
OCT 28, 2022
Space & Astronomy
Magma Is Still Shaping The Surface of Mars
Magma Is Still Shaping The Surface of Mars
New research from Nature Astronomy shows that magma is still shaping the surface of Mars to this day. Researchers at ETH ...
OCT 31, 2022
Space & Astronomy
Long-Term International Space Station Experiment Highlights Risks for Future Human Spaceflight
Long-Term International Space Station Experiment Highlights Risks for Future Human Spaceflight
In a recent study published in Heliyon, an international team of researchers led by Osaka City University in Japan exami ...
NOV 02, 2022
Space & Astronomy
ESA's Solar Orbiter Captures Extraordinary Views of the Quiet Corona
ESA's Solar Orbiter Captures Extraordinary Views of the Quiet Corona
On October 12, 2022, the European Space Agency’s (ESA) Solar Orbiter mission had its second close encounter with t ...
DEC 09, 2022
Space & Astronomy
Astronomers Measure the Light Between Galaxies with JWST
Astronomers Measure the Light Between Galaxies with JWST
A recent study published in The Astrophysical Journal Letters presents the most complete analysis of intracluster light ...
JAN 15, 2023
Space & Astronomy
Dione, The Rocky-Ice Moon of Saturn | Solar System Moons
Dione, The Rocky-Ice Moon of Saturn | Solar System Moons
We recently explored Saturn's walnut-shaped moon, Iapetus, to include its two-toned surface features and equatorial ridg ...
Loading Comments...