SpaceX launch of NASA exoplanet hunting telescope TESS scrubbed

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SpaceX today scrubbed the launch of NASA’s TESS space telescope, designed to look for transiting exoplanets orbiting the sky’s brightest stars.

The reasons for the scrub have not yet been announced, but the company says it is aiming for a new launch date on April 18.



  • Mark

    Stand down was due to “conducting additional GNC analysis.”, according to the tweeter.

    Speaking of the tweeters, Elon Musk threw these teases out on the 15th.

    “This is gonna sound crazy, but …”
    “SpaceX will try to bring rocket upper stage back from orbital velocity using a giant party balloon”
    “And then land on a bouncy house”

    It sounds to me that they are going to attempt reentry with a ballute, translate to a gps guided parachute and attempt to land on a field of airbags (ala “The Fall Guy”). A fairly low-mass reentry method, but risky.

  • Kirk

    It’s worth noting that Mr. Musk didn’t indicate when the first upper stage recovery attempt will be, but it will certainly not be with TESS, where the upper stage will conduct a post-separation disposal burn putting it into a hyperbolic trajectory which will escape Earth orbit and enter an Earth-crossing heliocentric orbit.

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