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Thread: NASA’s Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS)

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    NASA’s Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS)

    Could not find a thread devoted to NASA’s Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS). So i am starting this one by linking you to more information on it that Fraser posted.

    Latest on TESS.

    http://www.nasa.gov/feature/goddard/...lanet-explorer

    As the search for life on distant planets heats up, NASA’s Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) is bringing this hunt closer to home. Launching in 2017-2018, TESS will identify planets orbiting the brightest stars just outside our solar system using what’s known as the transit method.

    When a planet passes in front of, or transits, its parent star, it blocks some of the star's light. TESS searches for these telltale dips in brightness, which can reveal the planet's presence and provide additional information about it.

    TESS will be able to learn the sizes of the planets it sees and how long it takes them to complete an orbit. These two pieces of information are critical to understanding whether a planet is capable of supporting life. Nearly all other planet classifications will come from follow up observations, by both TESS team ground telescopes as well as ground- and space-based observations, including NASA's James Webb Space Telescope launching in 2018.

    Compared to the Kepler mission, which has searched for exoplanets thousands to tens of thousands of light-years away from Earth towards the constellation Cygnus, TESS will search for exoplanets hundreds of light-years or less in all directions surrounding our solar system.

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    Cool, a mission that promises to be even better than Kepler!
    My travel blog Mostly about riding a motorcycle across the US and Europe. Also has cool things that happen in between.

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    More information on Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite, or TESS.

    https://www.axios.com/nasas-next-exo...ec0b2aa46.html

    The mission: The Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite, or TESS, is set to launch into orbit around Earth in March. Its wide-angle cameras will, over the course of two years, photograph almost 85% of the sky in order to detect the brief dips of light caused by a planet passing in front of a star. The database it creates will guide missions for decades to come.

    NASA's Kepler missions found most of the planets discovered so far. Kepler was designed to figure out how many planets were in one small part of the sky so researchers could estimate how many there may be in total. It looked at 0.25% of the sky, but peered as far at 3000 light years away.

    What's new: TESS will look at almost all of the sky, but it will focus on stars that neighbor our solar system and could be studied with future telescopes.

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    To say I am highly anticipating this mission would be an understatement.
    What does God need with a starship?

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    TESS launches tomorrow.
    I know it will launch at 3:32 pm PDT, and I know that ultimately it will reach a 2:1 resonant orbit with the Moon. But can anybody with better Googling skills than I have find out more about tomorrow? Specifically, will it launch into a parking orbit, or directly to its phasing orbit. If parking orbit, when will it use the 2nd stage to boost to the phasing orbit. (Remember Roadster launched into a parking orbit, and a few hours later Southern California got to see the 2nd burn in their evening sky as it burned to escape Earth). What are the orbital elements they are shooting for in the 1st phasing orbit? Will it remain attached to the 2nd stage for the future burns that will put it in its final orbit? Or does it have its own propulsion?

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    Quote Originally Posted by tony873004 View Post
    TESS launches tomorrow.
    I know it will launch at 3:32 pm PDT, and I know that ultimately it will reach a 2:1 resonant orbit with the Moon. But can anybody with better Googling skills than I have find out more about tomorrow? Specifically, will it launch into a parking orbit, or directly to its phasing orbit. If parking orbit, when will it use the 2nd stage to boost to the phasing orbit. (Remember Roadster launched into a parking orbit, and a few hours later Southern California got to see the 2nd burn in their evening sky as it burned to escape Earth). What are the orbital elements they are shooting for in the 1st phasing orbit? Will it remain attached to the 2nd stage for the future burns that will put it in its final orbit? Or does it have its own propulsion?
    Sorry could not find answers to your questions but found this article on TESS.

    https://mashable.com/2018/04/15/how-...1#1WF7NAz1kPqG

    Billions and billions of worlds lurk beyond our solar system. But most of the time, we can't see them.

    Alien planets large and small are usually drowned out by the light of their own stars when we try to spot them from Earth.

    However, NASA's TESS — short for Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite — is expected to change that after it launches to orbit on Monday.

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    Quote Originally Posted by tony873004 View Post
    TESS launches tomorrow.
    I know it will launch at 3:32 pm PDT, and I know that ultimately it will reach a 2:1 resonant orbit with the Moon. But can anybody with better Googling skills than I have find out more about tomorrow? Specifically, will it launch into a parking orbit, or directly to its phasing orbit. If parking orbit, when will it use the 2nd stage to boost to the phasing orbit. (Remember Roadster launched into a parking orbit, and a few hours later Southern California got to see the 2nd burn in their evening sky as it burned to escape Earth). What are the orbital elements they are shooting for in the 1st phasing orbit? Will it remain attached to the 2nd stage for the future burns that will put it in its final orbit? Or does it have its own propulsion?
    If I read the TESS Science Writer's Guide (page 4) correctly, TESS will enter its phasing orbits directly.

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    Looks like the launch of TESS has been delayed, for at least 48 hours. Take your time Elon, those planets aren't going anywhere.

    The launch of the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) — which was scheduled to take place this evening (April 16) here from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station — has been delayed by at least 48 hours due to an issue with the spacecraft's rocket ride, a SpaceX Falcon 9.

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    Quote Originally Posted by tony873004 View Post
    TESS launches tomorrow.
    I know it will launch at 3:32 pm PDT, and I know that ultimately it will reach a 2:1 resonant orbit with the Moon. But can anybody with better Googling skills than I have find out more about tomorrow? Specifically, will it launch into a parking orbit, or directly to its phasing orbit. If parking orbit, when will it use the 2nd stage to boost to the phasing orbit. (Remember Roadster launched into a parking orbit, and a few hours later Southern California got to see the 2nd burn in their evening sky as it burned to escape Earth). What are the orbital elements they are shooting for in the 1st phasing orbit? Will it remain attached to the 2nd stage for the future burns that will put it in its final orbit? Or does it have its own propulsion?
    From the Wikipedia article on TESS:
    Operational orbit

    Once injected into the initial orbit by the Falcon 9 second stage, the spacecraft will perform at least five additional independent burns that will place it into a lunar flyby orbit. After a final period adjustment maneuver burn, the craft is expected to achieve an orbital period of 13.65 days in the desired 2:1 resonance with the Moon, at 90 degrees phase offset to the moon at apogee. This orbit is expected to be stable for at least 20 years. The entire maneuvering phase is expected to take a total of two months, and bring the craft in an eccentric orbit (17-75 Earth radii) at a 37 degree inclination. The total delta-v budget for orbit maneuvers is 215 m/s, which is 80% of the mission’s total available reserves. If TESS receives an on-target or slightly above nominal orbit insertion by the Falcon 9, a theoretical mission duration in excess of 15 years would be possible from a consumables standpoint.[30]
    More on the orbit design. Snippet:

    TESS will reach its orbit through a complex flight design featuring up to eleven burns of its orbit maneuvering engine plus a critical lunar flyby – creating around 60 days of maneuvering to place the spacecraft into its operational orbit. This complex design comprising 3.5 phasing loops before the lunar flyby is a result of the mission’s constrained delta-v budget.
    Last edited by schlaugh; 2018-Apr-16 at 11:45 PM.

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    Thanks, schlaugh!
    I found all those same pages, but I was looking for more detail for the first few hours of flight. Then today, JPL Horizons included TESS in its data.
    It looks like TESS is going directly to phasing orbit #1, or at the very least coasting less than 1/2 orbit in its original parking orbit before burning to phasing orbit #1.
    Here's a simulation I made with their data (don't touch the time step until June 18, and then don't increase it past 256.)

    http://orbitsimulator.com/gravitySim...sHorizons.html

    The frame is rotating, keeping the Moon's average position stationary. You can see how stable the 2:1 resonance is.

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    I just realized the above link only works in Chrome.

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    NASA_TESS (@NASA_TESS) | Twitter -- the spacecraft seems to be doing OK.

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    The search has begun

    https://spaceflightnow.com/2018/07/2...t-hunt-begins/

    NASA’s newest observatory in space has started its search for planets around other stars, officials said Friday, as astronomers zero in on worlds that are ripe for research by follow-up missions like the James Webb Space Telescope.

    The Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite officially began a two-year science mission Wednesday, around three months after its blastoff from Cape Canaveral aboard a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket.

    “I’m thrilled that our new planet hunter mission is ready to start scouring our solar system’s neighborhood for new worlds,” said Paul Hertz, NASA’s astrophysics division director. “Now that we know there are more planets than stars in our universe, I look forward to the strange, fantastic worlds we’re bound to discover.”

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