SpaceX received permission to launch a very valuable cargo

It is a question of the new space telescope TESS, the permission for launch of which by the carrier rocket Falcon 9 company Ilona Mask received from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). In addition, within the same launch, it is planned to send into orbit and other important cargo that will be used for scientific space missions.

This news was reported by the publication Space News, referring to the previously submitted draft federal budget for the 2019 fiscal year. In that part of the document, which deals with further plans of the NASA agency, it is said that "in January 2018, SpaceX company successfully passed the certification of the second category." In other words, it gives her the right to act as the operator of sending the TESS (Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite) into the orbit, which will search for exoplanets using the transit method of observing the stars. Later this information was confirmed by the official representative of NASA, Cheryl Warner.

It should be added that permission to conduct missions is issued for each specific rocket model based on how successful the previous launches were, therefore, the solution was expected. Statistics speak clearly in favor of SpaceX.

Nevertheless, the process of obtaining a license for launch was somewhat stalled in 2017, which even caused some concern in the US Congress. The delay even caused the transfer of the launch. Interestingly, the transfer was requested by the company itself SpaceX, which took additional time to thoroughly prepare all the necessary equipment in accordance with all the standards and requirements of NASA. Earlier it was expected that TESS will go looking for new planets in March of this year, but in the end the launch will take place on April 16, unless, of course, this is prevented by any other factors. By the way, the telescope on February 12 was already delivered to the Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The very Falcon 9 missile itself is already on the launch pad.

And yet, it will not work for a long time. The start should be carried out within the open window, which will last from March to June. Only in this case the telescope can be brought to the planned trajectory. This was previously reported by the head of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology George Ricker – they will be engaged in research using this device.

The estimated time of the TESS telescope is at least two years. During this time, the spacecraft will be able to study more than 200 thousand stars and check the presence of exoplanets near them. It is expected that the telescope will be able to open several thousand new planets. Recall that the number of confirmed exoplanets at the moment is more than 2500. All were discovered by the Kepler space telescope.

Obtaining permission to carry out such an important mission is a very significant achievement for a private company. However, one of its main tasks – the creation of a manned spacecraft – remains unresolved. At the same time, competitors of SpaceX are busy with a similar task. On the heels comes the same Boeing. Initially, it was expected that SpaceX and Boeing will present a ready-made missile for certification in 2017, but in the end both companies postponed this event at the beginning of 2019.

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