SpaceX will launch rocket to send Telescope to Space

19 April, 2018, 06:32 | Author: Clarence Schmidt
  • Forbes magazine estimates Musk’s net worth at $19.3 billion

Falcon 9, along with the Dragon spacecraft, was designed from the outset to deliver humans into space.

Previously SpaceX has only been able to recover the first stage of its Falcon 9 rocket which contains the engine that provides the initial thrust needed to lift the rocket. You can watch that launch live on Space.com at 6:30 p.m. EDT (2230 GMT) today. The city is offering extensive perks to SpaceX for its work there.

The company has also reused two of its uncrewed Dragon cargo ships to deliver NASA cargo to the International Space Station (one of them is in orbit right now) and is actively trying to capture the payload fairings - or nose cones - that shroud and protect satellites and other payloads during launch.

SpaceX is in full-throttle development mode for the BFR, with all engineering resources focused on the deep-space rocket, and no major design updates are planned for the Falcon 9 or Falcon Heavy.

With NASA's current planet hunting observatory, Kepler, running on fumes, boffins need to get TESS into orbit to continue the flow of data and, hopefully, discoveries.

That transit detection technique was pioneered by earlier probes such as NASA's Kepler telescope, which was launched in 2009.


Guidance, navigation and control is always important for a space mission - but for TESS, the task is particularly complex.

The following is a passage from Wikipedia on the TESS satellite. It is planned for launch in April 2018. From that vantage point, TESS will keep tabs on 200,000 of the brightest stars in our celestial neighborhood, looking for the telltale changes in brightness that result when a planet crosses over the star's disk.

Tess will make up for that, as it will spend two years observing 200,000 of the brightest stars in the sky, majority located no more than 300 light years away.

TESS, with its four advanced cameras, will scan an area that is 350 times larger, comprising 85 percent of the sky in the first two years alone.

Follow-up observations by ground-based and space-based telescopes will help characterize the planets' sizes and compositions, and possibly analyze their atmospheres for signatures of habitability.

Orbiting between the Earth and the moon, TESS will survey almost the entire sky for comparatively brighter and closer stars - some dozens to hundreds of light years away - than Kepler saw. On April 5, 2013, it was revealed that TESS, together with the Neutron Celebrity Inside Structure Traveler (NICER), had actually been chosen for launch.

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