Nasa predicts that TESS will discover 20,000 exoplanets - or planets outside the solar system - including more than 50 Earth-sized planets and up to 500 planets less than twice the size of Earth.
The planned liftoff of a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket carrying NASA's Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite, or TESS, remains scheduled for 6:32 p.m. EDT Monday from Space Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station.
Expecting the mission to span a minimum of two years, NASA expects TESS to survey 2,00,000 of the brightest stars outside our solar system to search for transiting exoplanets. On board is NASA's Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS), created to find exoplanets.
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That said, it is worth noting TESS won't find life on any of these worlds.
According to a report by Space.com, NASA's current exoplanet hunting observatory named Kepler, has nearly exhausted its fuel supply, requiring NASA to put TESS into orbit to continue research. The satellite will only hunt potential exoplanet candidates, some of which could be those sitting in the habitable zone or at the right distance from their host star to host necessary conditions to support life.
The SpaceX rocket launch scheduled for Monday evening has been delayed.
"By looking at such a large section of the sky - this kind of stellar real estate - we open up the ability to cherry-pick the best stars to do follow-up science", said Jenn Burt, a postdoctoral fellow at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).