Falcon 9 first stages perform engine maneuvers in space that send them back to Earth, where they can land on an offshore drone ship or landing pads near their launch sites.
The plan is expected to get approval from the L.A. Board of Harbor Commissioners Thursday, and SpaceX has already moved in some hardware, including a tooling for making carbon-fiber composites for the rocket's upper stage.
NASA's planet-hunting pioneer, the Kepler Space Telescope, has spent the past nine years focusing on considerably fainter, more distant stars and discovered almost three-quarters of the 3,700-plus exoplanets confirmed to date.
In fact, SpaceX will try to recover the payload fairings again today (April 16) when it launches a Falcon 9 carrying NASA's next exoplanet-hunting space telescope, the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite.
On the other hand, NASA secured the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) right into its haul fairing as the firm prepares to place it in addition to the rocket.More news: Venezuela's Maduro blasts Summit of Americas for "intolerance"
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The Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) is a planned space telescope for NASA's Explorers program, created to search for exoplanets using the transit method in an area 400 times larger than that covered by the Kepler mission. NASA's Introduce Solutions Program is in charge of launch administration.
The following is an excerpt from Wikipedia on the TESS satellite.
According to U.S. Air Force 45th Space Wing meteorologists, there is "an 80 percent chance of favorable weather for liftoff", the NASA TESS Mission announced on April 14.
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. The TESS task will certainly utilize a range of wide-field electronic cameras to execute an all-sky study.
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.
"On average the stars that TESS observes are 30-100 times brighter and 10 times closer than the stars that Kepler focused on". TESS will record the nearest and brightest main sequence stars hosting transiting exoplanets, which are the most favorable targets for detailed investigations.