Tonight, NASA will launch a new satellite into orbit on a mission to detect planets outside of our solar system.
The satellite, called the Transitioning Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) will launch on a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket from Cape Canaveral at 18:32 EDT (23:32 BST) tonight.
Mirror.co.uk will be streaming tonight’s launch live if you would like to watch it.
TESS is the next step in the search for planets outside our solar system – including those that could support life .
The mission will look for events called transits – when exoplanets periodically block part of the light from their host stars.
In total, TESS will survey 200,000 of the brightest stars near the sun to search for the exoplanets.
NASA predicts that TESS will catalog thousands of planet candidates – around 300 of which are expected to be Earth-sized.
The mission will last for two years, during which time TESS will survey the sky by breaking it up into 26 different sectors.
Cameras on board the spacecraft will survey each sector for at least 27 days, looking at the brightest stars at a two-minute cadence.
To find the exoplanets, TESS will look for dips in the visible light of stars as planets move in front of them.
Repetitive, periodic dips can reveal lots about planets, including their size, shape of orbit, and how long it takes that planet to orbit its sun.
TESS will create a list of all the exoplanets it finds over the two year mission, before conducting ground-based follow-up observations to confirm the findings.
Using the planet’s size, mass and orbit, NASA will then be able to determine the planets’ compositions – whether they’re rocky, gas giants, or something more unusual.
As well as searching for exoplanets, TESS will also be used to study approximately 20,000 additional objects during the mission.