NASA’s TESS Space Telescope Finishes Primary Mission Written 12 August 2020


Artist's rendition of NASA's Transitioning Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS). | NASA

SPACE reports that NASA’s Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) space telescope finished its primary mission on July 4, “having discovered 66 confirmed alien planets and nearly 2,100 ‘candidates’ that scientists still need to vet, NASA officials said.” Despite its primary mission being completed, NASA is still using TESS to find exoplanets in “an extended mission that runs through September 2022.” The spacecraft “managed to cover about 75% of the sky during its two-year primary mission, NASA officials said.” TESS’ “primary mission yielded many exciting finds, including an Earth-sized planet called TOI 700 d that orbits in its star’s habitable zone, the range of distances where liquid water could be stable on a world’s surface.” During the extended mission, TESS’ cameras are capturing images “three times faster than during the primary mission,” according to a NASA statement.
Full Story (SPACE)