From NASA // July 29, 2018
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ABOUT VIDEO: NASA's Transit Exoplanet Survey Satellite began searching for planets around nearby stars and officially commenced scientific operations on July 25, 2018. [NASA)-NASA'sTransitExoplanetSurveySatellitebeganitssearchforplanetsaroundnearbystarsandofficiallybeganscientificoperationsonJuly252018
TESS is expected to send its first series of scientific data back to Earth in August and then periodically every 13.5 days, once per orbit, as the spacecraft approaches it closest to Earth. The TESS Science Team will start scanning the data for new planets as soon as the first series arrives.
"I am thrilled that our new Planetary Hunter mission is ready to search the neighborhood of our solar system for new worlds," said Paul Hertz, NASA's Astrophysics Division Director at Headquarters, Washington.
"Now that we know there are more planets than stars in our universe, I look forward to the strange, fantastic worlds that we will discover."
TESS is NASA's newest satellite to search for planets outside our solar system, known as exoplanets. The mission will spend the next two years monitoring the next and brightest stars for periodic dips in their light. These events, called transits, indicate that a planet could pass in front of its star. TESS will use this method to find thousands of planets, some of which could potentially support life.
TESS is a NASA Astrophysics Explorer mission managed and operated by MIT in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and managed by NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center at Greenbelt, Maryland. Dr. George Ricker of the Kavli Institute for Astrophysics and Space Research at MIT serves as the main researcher for the mission. Other partners include Northrop Grumman, located in Falls Church, Virginia; NASA's Ames Research Center in Silicon Valley, California; the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics in Cambridge, Massachusetts; Lincoln Laboratory of MIT in Lexington, Massachusetts; and the Space Telescope Science Institute in Baltimore. More than a dozen universities, research institutes and observatories worldwide are participants in the mission.