NASA’s New Planet-Hunting Space Telescope Takes Off on SpaceX Rocket in Florida

Move over, Kepler. NASA's TESS spacecraft took off Wednesday at 3:51 p.m. Pacific time on a SpaceX Falcon 9 Rocket from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida.

In a matter of minutes, the rocket went supersonic, shed its first stage, which returned to a drone ship in the Atlantic Ocean, and left Earth's atmosphere for good, NASA officials said.

It will take 60 days before TESS reaches its planned orbit and begins its science mission. So far, the spacecraft's mission is going as planned, officials said.

An attempt to launch Monday was scrubbed so that SpaceX could run additional analyses on the guidance, navigation and control systems.

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