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How to watch SpaceX launch NASA’s planet-hunting satellite today

SpaceX says it will launch “TESS” at 6:51 pm ET / 3:51 pm PT on April 18.

The SpaceX Falcon Heavy rocket lifts off from launch pad 39A at Kennedy Space Center
Up, up and away.
Joe Raedle / Getty

NASA is seeking out new planets, and it will use Elon Musk’s SpaceX to launch its newest planet-hunting satellite into space.

The initial launch, scheduled for Monday, April 16, was postponed. SpaceX has rescheduled the launch of NASA’s new Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite for Wednesday, April 18, at 6:51 pm ET / 3:51 pm PT. TESS will launch on a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket from the company’s Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida.

According to NASA, the TESS “spacecraft will fly in a unique orbit that will allow it to study nearly the entire sky over two years. This special orbit is key in potentially finding thousands of new planets outside our solar system.”

Watch live coverage of the launch at SpaceX’s website or NASA TV’s website beginning at 6:51 pm ET / 3:51 pm PT. Or of course you can just watch here below.

“TESS is NASA’s next step in the search for planets outside of our solar system, known as exoplanets, including those that could support life,” NASA wrote on its website.

TESS will be released into an elliptical orbit approximately 48 minutes after launch, according to SpaceX.

SpaceX has not announced a third backup window in the event that Wednesday’s launch is aborted.

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