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Launch of exoplanet-hunting TESS satellite delayed to Wednesday

16 Apr 2018, 20:47 UTC
Launch of exoplanet-hunting TESS satellite delayed to Wednesday
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The launch of TESS atop a Falcon 9 rocket has been postponed by at least 48 hours. Photo Credit: Michael Howard / SpaceFlight Insider
CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. — The launch of the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Spacecraft (TESS) has been postponed by at least 48 hours, according to SpaceX. The satellite had been scheduled to launch atop a Falcon 9 rocket at 6:32 p.m. EDT (22:23 GMT) April 16, 2018.
“Standing down today to conduct additional GNC analysis, and teams are now working towards a targeted launch of @NASA_TESS on Wednesday, April 18,” SpaceX tweeted in a statement.
GNC stands for guidance, navigation and control. SpaceX did not say whether this postponement stems from a potential hardware failure, or if the company is just being extra vigilant. In a statement from NASA, the space agency said the TESS spacecraft is in “excellent health, and remains ready for launch.”
Should SpaceX and NASA attempt to launch TESS on Wednesday, April 18, the targeted time for liftoff is expected to be 6:51 p.m. EDT (22:51 GMT). The Falcon 9 will fly out of Cape Canaveral Air Force Station’s Space Launch Complex 40.
When the mission does get underway, TESS will survey 85 percent ...

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