SpaceX Scheduled To Launch Falcon 9 Rocket (TESS) From Cape Canaveral On Monday, April 16

By  //  April 10, 2018

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BREVARD COUNTY • CAPE CANAVERAL, FLORIDA – SpaceX is set to launch a Falcon 9 rocket (TESS) from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station on Monday, April 16.

Launch window opens at 6:32 p.m. ET

The rocket will carry NASA’s Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) which will discover thousands of exoplanets in orbit around the brightest stars in the sky.

In a two-year survey of the solar neighborhood, TESS will monitor more than 200,000 stars for temporary drops in brightness caused by planetary transits. This first-ever spaceborne all-sky transit survey will identify planets ranging from Earth-sized to gas giants, around a wide range of stellar types and orbital distances.

No ground-based survey can achieve this feat.

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TESS will tile the sky with 26 observation sectors:

– At least 27 days staring at each 24° × 96° sector
– Brightest 200,000 stars at 1-minute cadence
– Full frame images with 30-minute cadence
– Map Southern hemisphere in first year
– Map Northern hemisphere in second year
– Sectors overlap at ecliptic poles for sensitivity to smaller and longer period planets in JWST Continuous Viewing Zone (CVZ)

TESS observes from unique High Earth Orbit (HEO):

– Unobstructed view for continuous light curves
– Two 13.7 day orbits per observation sector
– Stable 2:1 resonance with Moon’s orbit
– Thermally stable and low-radiation