Kennedy Space Center is gearing up to launch the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite Tess which is scheduled for liftoff from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. It will ride on a two-stage Falcon 9 rocket of SpaceX, and the weather is predicted to be clear. Some storms could strike on Monday, but they will not affect the plans. In case of severity, the launch window will shift to the next day which is expected to be bright and sunny. Officials of NASA have confirmed this during the pre-launch briefing on April 15.

According to Space, TESS will settle into orbit around Earth in June. After that, it will start the all-important mission of looking for other worlds.

There are nearly 3700 Exoplanets, and the Kepler telescope has discovered most of them. Hopefully, the new spacecraft TESS will add some more and also identify a few useful ones.

TESS will search for exoplanets

NASA has already set its sights on colonization of Mars and search for exoplanets is another important activity on its agenda. This is related to the search for life beyond our solar system. The purpose of TESS is to discover alien worlds and explore possibilities of colonizing them. The agency is waiting for its space telescope to lift off in 2020 – it will be fitted with instruments to study the exoplanets for telltale signs of life in some form.

Involvement of SpaceX

SpaceX has a major role to play in the TESS project of NASA. A two-stage Falcon 9 rocket will be used to launch the spacecraft that will search for exoplanets.

After separation, the first stage of the rocket will land back on a robotic "drone ship" that will be positioned in the Atlantic Ocean. This will not be new for SpaceX because it has gained adequate experience in handling several of these activities ever since it brought in the concept of reusable rockets.

In the opinion of Elon Musk, CEO of SpaceX, the intention of going in for reusable rockets and spacecraft is to economize on the cost aspect. Spaceflight will gain popularity with the passage of time, and discovery of every new planet will open up opportunities to exploit its natural resources.

These will have business potentials. Human beings may not be able to survive in the harsh alien environments but robots can. NASA's Curiosity rover is the best example. It has been there on Mars for more than five years and is still working 24X7. Hence, robots can be deployed to extract the minerals and send them back to Earth.