The launch is scheduled for Sunday at 6.32 p.m. (4.02 a.m. on Monday, India time) on a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket from Space Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida.
He started the series of tweets with the acknowledgment that "This is gonna sound insane", and then said, "SpaceX will try to bring rocket upper stage back from orbital velocity using a giant party balloon".
The satellite is tasked with "a mission to detect planets outside of our solar system", NASA said on its website, referring to the so-called exoplanets.
MIT anticipates Tess will discover thousands of exoplanets of all sizes around a variety of star types. It was subsequently taken on by NASA as an Explorer Class (EX) Mission, with Orbital ATK awarded the contract to actually put the thing together in 2013.
The satellite will figure out "the most promising exoplanets orbiting relatively nearby stars", providing future researchers with an exhaustive set of new targets for more follow-up studies, including the potential to determine "their capacity to harbor life", the United States space agency said.
During its two-year mission TESS will monitor the brightness of more than 200,000 stars, looking for the tell-tale drop in brightness caused by planetary transits (when an orbiting planet passes in front of the star). However, Kepler only had access to a fraction of the sky and most of the stars it studied are extremely faint, making it hard for astronomers to look more closely at the planets.