NASA's New Planet-Hunting TESS Launch Postponed To Wednesday (LISTEN Tess Podcast)

NASA's New Planet-Hunting TESS Launch Postponed To Wednesday (LISTEN Tess Podcast)

Crews stopped Monday's launch at Cape Canaveral to conduct additional guidance, navigation and control analysis, SpaceX reported.

Starting at 6 p.m., the USA space agency will cover the events surrounding the countdown and launch from Space Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida.

NASA's space telescope Transit Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) which is expected to expand astronomers knowledge of "exoplanets" or planets beyond our solar system, will be launched into orbit from the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida on SpaceX's Falcon 9 rocket.

Two hours before a scheduled liftoff, SpaceX on Monday postponed its planned launch of NASA's newest planet-hunting satellite.

NASA is set to launch its latest satellite, called TESS, aboard a SpaceX rocket with one mission: locate distant worlds that could harbour alien life.

ORBIT: Tess will aim for a unique elongated orbit that passes within 45,000 miles of Earth on one end and as far away as the orbit of the moon on the other end.

During its mission, TESS will analyse thousands of relatively nearby stars for planets orbiting the stars.

If there's any bad weather, technical glitches, or other problems, SpaceX may delay the launch to 6:13 p.m. EDT on Tuesday. The mission also said to discover about 200,000 exoplanets in the space within a time period of two years.

"But it's not just quantity; it's quality as well - because the planets we do find will be bright enough and close enough to Earth that we really can do follow-up measurements with them".

While that will take instruments not yet built, "the TESS planets should be really great candidates for us to start to peer into the atmospheres of these planets with spectroscopy, what allows us to put together the atoms and molecules making up that atmosphere", Boyd said.

An artist's concept of TESS in front of a lava planet orbiting its host star.

Surveying almost the entire sky, the minimum two-year mission expects to find some 20,000 so-called exoplanets around nearby, bright stars, ranging from rocky Earth-size planets to gas giants.

The first data from TESS is expected to be made public in July, and NASA says citizen astronomers are welcome to help study the planets. "TESS is basically the discoverer, it's going to find the really exciting planets that we can then follow up with powerful telescopes". Kepler has found more than 2,300 confirmed exoplanets over its lifetime. "Kepler was a statistical survey that looked at a small patch of sky for four years and taught us that Earths are everywhere".