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William Bacon's Tess mission Page Index

The Launch!


Liftoff of the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket carrying NASA’s TESS spacecraft. 
Image credit: NASA TV

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The Mission

NASA | The Search for New Worlds is Here

The Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) is an astrophysics Explorer-class mission between NASA and MIT.
 After launching in 2017, TESS will use four cameras to scan the entire sky, searching for planets 
 outside our Solar System, known as exoplanets. The mission will monitor over 500,000 of the brightest stars 
 in the sky, searching for dips in their brightness that would indicate a planet transiting across. 
 TESS is predicted to find over 3,000 exoplanet candidates, ranging from gas giants to small rocky planets.
 About 500 of these planets are expected to be similar to Earth's size.
 The stars TESS monitors will be 30-100 times brighter than those observed by Kepler,
 making follow-up observations much easier. Using TESS data, missions like the James Webb Space Telescope 
 can determine specific characteristics of these planets, including whether they could support life.

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Voice-over by Peter Cullen, the voice of Optimus Prime of the Transformers

Farewell Kepler. Welcome TESS And The Quest To Find Earth 2.0

We’re now entering the final days for NASA’s Kepler Space Telescope.
 It’s running out of fuel and already crippled by the loss of its reaction wheels.
 In just a few months NASA will shut it down for good.
That is sad, but don’t worry, NASA’s next planet hunting spacecraft, 
the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Telescope is on the launchpad and ready
 to fly to space to take over where Kepler left off.

Finding Earth-sized worlds in the Milky Way.

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Kepler and K2 : Latest Spacecraft Update
March 14, 2018
The Kepler spacecraft is low on fuel, but is still collecting science data.

Kepler and K2 Mission overview

NASA’s Kepler Spacecraft Nearing the End 
as Fuel Runs Low
NASA’s New Planet Hunter: TESS How NASA’s Newest Planet Hunter Scans the Sky TESS Exoplanet Mission TESS' Intruments The Unique Orbit of NASA’s Newest Planet Hunter

In a series of papers, Professor Loeb and Michael Hippke indicate that conventional rockets would have a hard time escaping from certain kinds of extra-solar planets. Credit: NASA/Tim Pyle

Artist’s concept of the Kepler mission with Earth in the background. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

How the K2 mission rescued Kepler. Image credit: NASA

The number of confirmed exoplanets, by year. Credit: NASA

#42 ON TRENDING The TESS Mission

SpaceX is targeting launch of NASA’s Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) on Wednesday, April 18 from Space Launch Complex 40 (SLC-40) at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida. The 30-second launch window opens at 6:51 p.m. EDT, or 22:51 UTC. TESS will be deployed into a highly elliptical orbit approximately 48 minutes after launch. Following stage separation, SpaceX will attempt to land Falcon 9’s first stage on the “Of Course I Still Love You” droneship, which will be stationed in the Atlantic Ocean.

Artist Illustration of TESS and its 4 telescopes. Credit: NASA/MIT

Illustration of the TESS field of view. Credit: NASA/MIT

Simulation of the TESS orbit. Credit: NASA/MIT

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