A few hours ago, Elon Musk‘s SpaceX successfully launched NASA‘s new planet-hunting Kepler successor TESS (Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite) into orbit. The space telescope was set out to search for planets from nearby systems.
Originally scheduled for a March 20 launch, it was then pushed back to this past Monday April 16, and then finally launched today after some minor setbacks. The Falcon 9 rocket carrying TESS took off from Space Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral, and has successfully made its return landing on Falcon 9’s “Of Course I Still Love You” drone ship located in the Atlantic Ocean. TESS was in an elongated orbit of the Earth with a goal of finding a more rocky, Earth-like habitable worlds in Goldilocks zones, while collecting data on their mass, size, density and orbit.
Watch the SpaceX launch of NASA’s TESS above. In case you’ve missed it, four photographers capture detailed shots of various SpaceX rocket launches.