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LAUNCH PAD
NASA awards Launch Services Contract for Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite
by Staff Writers
Washington DC (SPX) Dec 18, 2014


File image.

NASA has selected SpaceX to provide launch services for the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) mission. TESS will launch aboard a Falcon 9 v1.1 launch vehicle, with liftoff targeted for August 2017 from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida.

The total cost for NASA to launch TESS is approximately $87 million, which includes the launch service, spacecraft processing, payload integration, tracking, data and telemetry, and other launch support requirements.

TESS's science goal is to detect transiting exoplanets orbiting nearby bright stars. During a three-year funded science mission, TESS will sample hundreds of thousands of stars in order to detect a large sample of exoplanets, with an emphasis on discovering Earth- and super-Earth-sized planets in the solar neighborhood.

The Launch Services Program at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida is responsible for management and oversight of the Falcon 9 v1.1 launch services for TESS.

The TESS Mission is led by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, with oversight by the Explorers Program at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland.


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LAUNCH PAD
US Space Launcher to Get 60 Russian Engines in $1Bln Deal
Moscow (Sputnik) Dec 18, 2014
Russian design bureau Energomash has signed a contract with the US-based Orbital Sciences Corporation for the delivery of 60 RD-181 rocket engines to be used to power the Antares rocket's first stage, Russia's Izvestiya newspaper reported Wednesday. "We have committed to deliver a total of 60 engines. Currently, there is a firm contract for 20 engines which we have begun moving forward wit ... read more


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