Mission Overview SpaceX is targeting launch of NASA’s Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) took place on Wednesday, April 18, from Space Launch Complex 40 (SLC-40) at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida.
TESS will be deployed into a highly elliptical orbit approximately 48 minutes after launch. Following stage separation, SpaceX will attempt to land Falcon 9’s first stage on the “Of Course I Still Love You” droneship, which will be stationed in the Atlantic Ocean. Payload The Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite is NASA’s next planet finder, led out of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Kavli Institute for Astrophysics and Space Research. TESS will discover new potential planets orbiting bright host stars relatively close to Earth.
In a two-year survey of the solar neighborhood, TESS will search for tell-tale dips in the brightness of stars that indicate an orbiting planet regularly transiting across the face of its star. The satellite is expected to catalog thousands of exoplanet candidates around a wide range of star types, including hundreds of planets that are less than twice the size of Earth. The TESS mission is expected to find planets ranging from small, rocky worlds to gas giants. Launch Facility Space Launch Complex 40, Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida.
SpaceX’s SLC-40 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station is a world-class launch site that builds on a strong heritage. The site, located at the north end of Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, was used for many years to launch Titan rockets, among the most powerful in the U.S. fleet. SpaceX took over the facility in May 2008.