NASA plans to lead a new age of exoplanet discovery with their TESS, or Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite, that is scheduled to launch aboard a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket on April 16. The launch has been planned from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida, according to Space.com.
The space telescope, a successor to the aging and soon-to-be-decommissioned Kepler space telescope, will scan an area of the night sky nearly 400 times larger than that covered by those before it. With so much real estate out there to examine, NASA expects that TESS may discover as many as 20,000 exoplanets.
Kepler made scientist aware that the existence of planets orbiting other stars is a common phenomena.
The discoveries that TESS makes may be followed up for further observation by land-based telescopes like the Hubble, or the upcoming James Webb Space Telescope, Space.com reported.