TESS is created to hunt for alien planets around 200,000 of the nearest and brightest stars in our galaxy.
"This method, called asteroseismology, helps us understand newly discovered planet systems, and gives us a way to study detailed physics inside stars under extreme conditions we can not reproduce here on Earth", he says. The Falcon 9 placed TESS into a highly elliptical orbit, and the spacecraft will use its own propulsion to move into its final orbit, a stable high Earth orbit in a 2:1 resonance with the moon, by mid-June. At 7:53 pm, the twin solar arrays that will power the spacecraft successfully deployed. "The Falcon 9 continues to demonstrate what a reliable vehicle it has become", Dunn said.
Over the course of several weeks, Tess will eventually reach the moon to complete its science orbit around Earth.
NASA says the satellite will begin its initial two-year mission 60 days after launch, following tests of its instruments.
NASA goes in search of aliens
TESS data will also be publicly available so that anyone can download them and search for exoplanets. That's why, according to the press release , it will work in collaboration with other telescopes.
There are already 3,700 exoplanets that we know of, with another 4,500 on the not-yet-verified list.
To find the planets, Tess will use the same transit method employed by Kepler, watching for regular, fleeting dips in stellar brightness that would indicate a planet passing in front of its star.
"When you look at what Kepler found, no one assumed there might be a planet made entirely of diamond, or that there could be worlds all covered in water..." NASA's satellite will look for stars 30 to 100 times brighter than those observed by the Kepler satellite launched in 2009.
Scientists have divided the sky into 26 sectors.
The two-year, $337 million TESS mission is created to build on the work of its predecessor, the Kepler space telescope, which has discovered the bulk of some 3,700 exoplanets documented during the past 20 years and is running out of fuel.
The launch was delayed after previously being scheduled for Monday, April 16. Like with other satellites, imagery from TESS will be used to analyze the possible characteristics of planets and their atmospheres.
Through the TESS Guest Investigator Program, the worldwide scientific community will be able to conduct research beyond TESS's core mission in areas ranging from exoplanet characterization to stellar astrophysics, distant galaxies and solar system science.