SpaceX to launch NASA spacecraft to look for alien planets

Tesla CEO Elon Musk, stressed but

Musk is presumably talking about the upper stage of the two-stage Falcon 9 rocket that serves as the workhorse booster for SpaceX launches.

Meteorologists with the U.S. Air Force 45th Space Wing continue to predict an 80 percent chance of favorable weather for liftoff. 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.

And it appears Musk is thinking about using a "giant party balloon" to take the upper stage of his rocket (which is created to operate at high altitude and carry the payload) out of orbital velocity and slow down its landing back on Earth - onto a bouncy castle. SpaceX's high-speed net boat Mr. Stevens is still in the Pacific.


As of 2018, SpaceX estimates a cost of $62 million (£43m) to launch Falcon 9 and $90 million (£63) to launch Falcon Heavy.

Sixty days after the launch and following tests of its instruments, the satellite will begin its initial two-year mission.

The spacecraft will be looking for a phenomenon known as a transit, where a planet passes in front of its star, causing a periodic and regular dip in the star's brightness. This rocket is also the final block 4 version before SpaceX starts using block 5 versions with upgraded engines and improvements to increase the reusability of the rocket.

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