For Wednesday evening, the launch of NASA’s new TESS Space Telescope, which will be dedicated to the search for exoplanets, was redefined. The planned launch for yesterday was postponed due to an unexpected technical problem. The launch will be from Cape Canaveral, Florida, unless there is a new delay.
The postponement was decided only two and a half hours before the planned launch time on Monday night, as Space X, which will put TESS (Transit Exoplanet Survey Satellite) in a rocket of Falcon 9, asked for more time to solve a technical issue on the rocket and make additional technical checks.
After the appropriate maneuvers lasting about two months, the satellite telescope, which has a refrigerator size and weighs 318 kilos, will be placed in a highly elliptical orbit around the Earth, to which no other boat has ever been fitted.
The telescope will make a complete rotation around our planet every 13.7 days, moving away from the Earth 108,000 kilometers (perimeter) to 373,000 kilometers (at the peak). Every time he approaches Earth, he will send scientists the information he has collected in the meantime.
TESS will search for a sky area about 350 times larger than Kepler and will focus on smaller, cold and faint stars than our Sun, the red dwarfs, which make up about 90% of the stars of the galaxy us. It is expected to find within two years at least 20,000 exoplanets, some of them “earthy”.