While no reason for the change in schedule was mentioned, the agency said, "Launch teams are standing down today to conduct additional Guidance Navigation and Control analysis, and teams are now working towards a targeted launch of the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) on Wednesday, April 18".
Ultimately, TESS' work will help pave the way toward discovering whether life exists - or could exist - on other planets. After its two-year mission, TESS will be replaced by the James Webb Space Telescope, a space telescope scheduled to launch in May 2020.
NASA's newest planet-hunting telescope is set to launch into orbit on Monday aboard a rocket built by Elon Musk's aerospace company, SpaceX. No satellites have been put into this orbit thus far.
After TESS identifies its candidates, scientists around the world will make further observations to confirm that they really are planets, and determine whether they're gas giants like Jupiter and Neptune, or rocky planets like Earth and Mars.
NASA's space telescope Transit Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) which is expected to expand astronomers knowledge of "exoplanets" or planets beyond our solar system, will be launched into orbit from the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida on SpaceX's Falcon 9 rocket.
But unlike Kepler, which fixed its gaze on a range of stars within a tiny fraction of the sky, TESS will scan a broader swath of the heavens to focus on 200,000 pre-selected stars that are closer and thus among the brightest as seen from Earth. The planned launch for yesterday was postponed due to an unexpected technical problem.
Disappointed space watchers were assured by NASA that there are no major concerns with the launch overall.
"Fifty, sixty, 100 years from now, you could use those same techniques to thoroughly explore the solar neighborhood", said MIT's George Ricker, principal investigator for the TESS mission. NASA TV is broadcasting TESS-related content up until the launch, even SpaceX also broadcasting the launch.
Stay tuned for updates on more potential launch delays. It will take Tess two weeks to circle Earth.
"There is no such restriction on government missions", a SpaceX representative told Business Insider in an email.
The easiest way is to watch the live stream on SpaceX's YouTube channel.
Coverage of the launch has garnered particular attention, but what exactly is TESS and what does it hope to achieve?