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TESS to launch on Falcon 9

Today, SpaceX is planning to launch NASA's TESS at 6:32pm EDT from Space Launch Complex 40 (SLC-40) on their Falcon 9 rocket. Following separation of the first and second stage, the first stage will perform a landing on the droneship "Of Course I Still Love You" approximately 8 minutes and 20 seconds after launch.

TESS is NASA's Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite and will be the next planet finder. It's led out of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Kavli Institute for Astrophysics and Space Research and will discover new potential exoplanets orbiting stars close to Earth. TESS will search for dips in the brightness of stars that are an indication of an orbiting planet regularly transiting its parent star. It's expected to discover thousands of exoplanet candidates on a two-year survey of the solar neighborhood. TESS is expected to find planets ranging from small, rocky plants to gas giants.

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