Press Release

Media Invited to Upcoming Launch of NASA’s Newest Planet-Hunting Spacecraft

By SpaceRef Editor
March 6, 2018
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Media accreditation now is open for the launch of a NASA spacecraft that will search for planets outside of our solar system with a field of view almost 400 times larger than that of the agency’s Kepler mission.

NASA’s Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) is targeted to launch no earlier than 6:32 p.m. EDT April 16 on a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket from Space Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station (CCAFS) in Florida. The mission will find planets outside our solar system, known as exoplanets, that periodically block part of the light from their host stars as they pass by, or transit.

Media prelaunch and launch activities will take place at CCAFS and NASA’s neighboring Kennedy Space Center. Credentialing deadlines are as follows:

International media without U.S. citizenship must apply by 4:30 p.m. Thursday, March 15, for access to CCAFS, or by 4:30 p.m. Thursday, March 29, for Kennedy media activities only.
U.S. media must apply by 4:30 p.m. Friday, April 6.
All media accreditation requests should be submitted online at:

For questions about accreditation, please email For other questions, or additional information, contact Kennedy’s newsroom at 321-867-2468.

TESS will search for thousands of exoplanets in orbit around the brightest and nearest stars outside our solar system during a two-year period of surveying our solar neighborhood. In its mission to identify new worlds, the spacecraft will monitor more than 200,000 stars, looking for a telltale sign: a decrease in a star’s brightness that occurs when an orbiting planet transits between its star and an observing spacecraft, temporarily blocking the star’s light.

TESS is a NASA Astrophysics Explorer mission led and operated by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and managed by NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center. George Ricker of MIT’s Kavli Institute for Astrophysics and Space Research serves as principal investigator for the mission.

Additional partners include Orbital ATK, NASA’s Ames Research Center, the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics and the Space Telescope Science Institute. More than a dozen universities, research institutes and observatories worldwide are participating in the mission.

NASA’s Launch Services Program is responsible for launch management of TESS.

For more information on TESS, go to:

SpaceRef staff editor.