SpaceX to launch NASA’s newest planet-hunting spacecraft

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

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What You Need to Know About SpaceX

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

NASA's newest planet-hunting spacecraft is scheduled to launch from Florida's Cape Canaveral Air Force Station on Wednesday evening.

The rocket had originally been scheduled to blast off Monday evening, but the launch was scrubbed because SpaceX needed more time to check the rocket that will carry the satellite into orbit.

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Wednesday's launch is scheduled for 6:51 p.m. It will be streamed live on SpaceX's website and on NASA TV. 

SpaceX will attempt to land the rocket on the droneship named “Of Course I Still Love You,” which will be stationed in the Atlantic Ocean.

The second drone ship is named "Just Read the Instructions." The names were chosen by SpaceX founder and CEO Elon Musk to honor the sci-fi author Iain M. Banks.

The Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite, or TESS, is on a two-year mission. TESS will look for planets smaller than Earth all the way to gas giants. It will do this by monitoring more than 200,000 bright host stars.

This conceptual image shows the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) mission, which is the next step in the search for planets outside of our solar system, including those that could support life.
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This conceptual image shows the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) mission, which is the next step in the search for planets outside of our solar system, including those that could support life.

Credit: NASA

Credit: NASA

Worlds orbiting other stars are called “exoplanets.”

Thousands of exoplanets have already been discovered. In 2016, NASA developed a unique way to introduce some of them to the public with a whimsical vacation planning guide.

WFTV.com contributed to this report.