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SpaceX, NASA delay planet-hunting probe’s liftoff

SpaceX Falcon 9
SpaceX’s Falcon 9 sits on its launch pad. (SpaceX via YouTube)

NASA and SpaceX say they’ll take more time to launch the Transiting Exoplanet Survey System, or TESS, just to make sure the $337 million mission will be on the right track to hunt for planets beyond our solar system.

TESS’ liftoff aboard a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket had been scheduled for today, but in an online update, NASA said “launch teams are standing down today to conduct additional guidance, navigation and control analysis.”

The launch was retargeted for April 18, with an anticipated liftoff time of 6:51 p.m. ET (3:51 p.m. PT).

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By Alan Boyle

Mastermind of Cosmic Log, contributing editor at GeekWire, author of "The Case for Pluto: How a Little Planet Made a Big Difference," president of the Council for the Advancement of Science Writing. Check out "About Alan Boyle" for more fun facts.

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