I moved down to Florida for college and one of the first things I did was go see a shuttle launch from Jetty Park. I was amazed at how many of my friends who grew up down here were completely non-plussed by the event. Sure, they may have seen spaceships taking off all their lives, but THEY SAW SPACESHIPS TAKING OFF ALL THEIR LIVES! Twenty years later, the idea of watching something that humans made break free from Earth and reach outer space still blows my mind and I’ll never not want to share it with anyone who is willing to listen.
This evening at around 6:51 p.m. EDT, or 22:51 UTC, Spacex will be launching NASA’s Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) on a Falcon 9 rocket. It will then attempt to land the rocket aboard the “Of Course I Still Love You” droneship.
Here’s a little more info on TESS from Spacex:
The Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite is NASA’s next planet finder, led out of the Massachusetts
Institute of Technology Kavli Institute for Astrophysics and Space Research. TESS will discover new
potential planets orbiting bright host stars relatively close to Earth. In a two-year survey of the solar
neighborhood, TESS will search for tell-tale dips in the brightness of stars that indicate an orbiting planet
regularly transiting across the face of its star. The satellite is expected to catalog thousands of exoplanet
candidates around a wide range of star types, including hundreds of planets that are less than twice the
size of Earth. The TESS mission is expected to find planets ranging from small, rocky worlds to gas giants.