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9:40 PM Wed, Nov. 14th

Watch: SpaceX rocket booster lands on floating platform

This photo released by SpaceX on Monday, April 16, 2018 shows a Falcon 9 rocket carrying NASA's Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Fla. Once in orbit, TESS will peer at hundreds of thousands of bright neighboring stars, seeking planets that might support life. (SpaceX via AP)

This photo released by SpaceX on Monday, April 16, 2018 shows a Falcon 9 rocket carrying NASA's Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Fla. Once in orbit, TESS will peer at hundreds of thousands of bright neighboring stars, seeking planets that might support life. (SpaceX via AP)

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) — The Latest on the launch of the planet-hunter satellite Tess (all times local):

7:00 p.m.

Just minutes after launching NASA's planet-hunting spacecraft, the SpaceX rocket booster is back on Earth.

The first-stage booster landed Wednesday evening on a floating platform in the Atlantic, just off the Florida coast. The Tess satellite, meanwhile, kept heading toward orbit with help from the Falcon rocket's second stage. It will take two months for Tess to reach its final scientific orbit, which will stretch all the way to the moon.

Tess, or the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite, will peer at hundreds of thousands of bright neighboring stars, seeking planets that could support life. Scientists expect Tess to identify thousands of planets in our cosmic backyard.

SpaceX plans to use the recovered booster for NASA's next grocery run to the International Space Station. It is the 24th booster landing for SpaceX, which aims to reduce launch costs by reusing rocket parts.

6:51 p.m.

NASA's Tess spacecraft has embarked on a quest to find new worlds around nearby stars that could support life.

Tess soared from Cape Canaveral, Florida, aboard a SpaceX rocket Wednesday evening.

Once in orbit, the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite, or Tess, will peer at hundreds of thousands of bright neighboring stars, seeking planets. Scientists expect Tess to identify thousands of planets in our cosmic backyard, adding to the bounty provided over the past decade by NASA's Kepler Space Telescope.

The planets discovered by Kepler are too distant and too faint for practical study. But those found by Tess should be close enough for mega telescopes in the future to detect any atmospheric signs of life.

SpaceX halted Monday's countdown to make extra rocket checks.

1:15 p.m.

NASA's newest planet-hunting spacecraft is back on the pad for another shot at launch.

A SpaceX Falcon rocket is set to blast off with the Tess satellite Wednesday evening from Cape Canaveral, Florida. SpaceX halted Monday's countdown for extra rocket checks.

Once in orbit, the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite, or Tess , will peer at hundreds of thousands of bright neighboring stars, seeking planets that might support life. Scientists expect Tess to identify thousands of planets in our cosmic backyard, adding to the bounty provided over the past decade by NASA's Kepler Space Telescope.

The planets discovered by Kepler are too distant and too faint for practical study. But those found by Tess should be close enough for mega telescopes in the future to detect any atmospheric signs of life.