Newswise — NASA’s TESS spacecraft, which will search nearby stars for new and potentially earth-like exoplanets, is scheduled for a second chance to launch on Wednesday (April 18) at Cape Canaveral.

Justin Crepp, Freimann Assistant Professor of Physics in the College of Science at the University of Notre Dame and a member of the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) science team, is an expert in Earth-sized planets and exoplanet searches and can speak to the TESS mission.

Comparing TESS to the previous Kepler and K2 missions, Crepp said, “The key thing is wide field of view versus narrow. Kepler stared at stars in the same patch of sky for four years in a row, but those stars were hundreds of light-years away. TESS will find the exoplanets we know must be there in the immediate vicinity of the sun — just tens of light-years away. Our nearest neighbors. With TESS, in some cases, we will be able to point to these stars in the sky since a fraction of them can be seen with the naked eye.”

Crepp is one of 14 committee members selected to serve on the Exoplanet Science Strategy committee that’s part of the upcoming 2020-2030 National Academy of Sciences decadal survey in astronomy, astrophysics and planetary science.