NASA planet seeking satellite launched by Falcon 9

A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket successfully sent a NASA planet-hunting probe into Earth orbit on Wednesday.

Liftoff from pad 40 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station was on time, precisely at 6:51:31 p.m. EDT. The two stage rocket delivered its cargo into orbit 49 minutes later.

The probe, known as the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite, will search for evidence of planets circling nearby stars. Those that are particularly interesting -- smaller, rocky, and just the right distance from its sun like Earth -- will be targeted for more detailed observations by future space-based telescopes.

The next launch from the Space Coast won't come until May when two Falcon 9 missions, each carrying commercial communications satellites, are targeted to fly. Neither have official, confirmed launch dates and times just yet.

Next launch not until some time in May.

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