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bison

NASA's New Planet Hunter Launched

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bison

TESS launch into preliminary orbit successful. Awaiting insertion into much higher orbit, from which the satellite will do its work. 

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Waspie_Dwarf

A SpaceX Falcon 9 has launched for Cape Canaveral Air Force Base, carrying NASA's exoplanet hunting Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS).

The Falcon 9 first stage has landed on the SpaceX's autonomous spaceport drone ship, Of Course I Still Love You.

The Falcon 9 second stage has ended it's first burn. It will fire again some 43 minutes after launch.

TESS will take around 60 days to reach it's final orbit.

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Waspie_Dwarf

The second burn of the second stage engine has ended. Next up is spacecraft deployment, which will end SpaceX part in the TESS story, but just be the beginning for the TESS team.

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Waspie_Dwarf

Spacecraft separation is confirmed, TESS is in orbit.

NASA will raise TESS into it's final orbit, including a near lunar fly-by on 17th May. TESS should reach it's unique orbit in mid-June.

The next step for TESS is deployment of it's energy generating solar panels.

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Waspie_Dwarf

Confirmation that both solar arrays have deployed.

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Merc14

The Falcon 9 successfully launched and deployed TESS and then landed dead center 300 miles off the coast of Florida.  The second stage successfully inserted TESS into orbit and then 35 minutes later reignited and then deployed TESS into her rendezvous with the moon where TESS will get a gravitational boost to place TESS into her highly elliptical orbit where she will survey 85% of the sky looking for new exoplanets.  Woot!!  

TESS will only transmit her data while at perigee with the earth, so every 14 days or so she will download data, the rest of the time TESS will study the sky and store the findings.  I am guessing that she will point her antenna at earth, until in final elliptical orbit, for testing and so we should know all is well soon.   After that, it will be awhile (relatively speaking) before TESS is in her final orbit but so far so good!  Can't ask for more than that. 

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Merc14

Sorry about the above repeat, I didn't see Waspie and Bison's posts when I posted.  Not sure why.   Looks like about 60 days of testing after it reaches final orbit before first science is conducted.

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Waspie_Dwarf
32 minutes ago, Merc14 said:

Sorry about the above repeat, I didn't see Waspie and Bison's posts when I posted.  Not sure why.   Looks like about 60 days of testing after it reaches final orbit before first science is conducted.

No problem, I was typing a post at the same time as bison anyway. He finished before me (i am a slow typist and a bit more verbose than bison) so I started a new topic only to find that bision had posted in the old one. I thought the launch was worthy of a new topic so moved bison's post here. So this topic already had a bit of history.

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Waspie_Dwarf

After “terrific” launch, TESS nears first major orbit-raising burn

Quote

NASA’s new planet-hunting TESS observatory completed its first post-launch thruster firing Saturday, setting up for a big boost Wednesday that will send the spacecraft toward the moon for a flyby next month, the next maneuvers in a two-month process to reach the mission’s final science orbit in mid-June.

The Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite fired its thrusters Saturday as it reached apogee, the most distant point in its looping elliptical orbit around Earth, nearly 170,000 miles (around 272,000 kilometers) in altitude.

Read More: Spaceflight Now

 

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Waspie_Dwarf

NASA’s New Planet Hunter Snaps Initial Test Image, Swings by Moon Toward Final Orbit

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NASA’s next planet hunter, the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS), is one step closer to searching for new worlds after successfully completing a lunar flyby on May 17. The spacecraft passed about 5,000 miles from the Moon, which provided a gravity assist that helped TESS sail toward its final working orbit.

As part of camera commissioning, the science team snapped a two-second test exposure using one of the four TESS cameras. The image, centered on the southern constellation Centaurus, reveals more than 200,000 stars. The edge of the Coalsack Nebula is in the right upper corner and the bright star Beta Centauri is visible at the lower left edge. TESS is expected to cover more than 400 times as much sky as shown in this image with its four cameras during its initial two-year search for exoplanets. A  science-quality image, also referred to as a “first light” image, is expected to be released in June.

embargo20180518fordisplay4flat8x10300dpi

Read More: NASA

 

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bmk1245

Just amazing.

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Sir Smoke aLot
7 minutes ago, bmk1245 said:

Just amazing.

Two seconds exposure :) Imagine sort of Hubble's 10 days thingy :)

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bmk1245
2 minutes ago, Sir Smoke aLot said:

Two seconds exposure :) Imagine sort of Hubble's 10 days thingy :)

Dammit, I'm already aroused to the limits, don't bring Hubble into the picture...

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Sir Smoke aLot
5 hours ago, bmk1245 said:

Dammit, I'm already aroused to the limits, don't bring Hubble into the picture...

It's maybe totally different piece of equipment in question but comparison is always divine thing.

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pallidin

Ya know, the amount of stars and galaxies in the "observable universe" just blows me away.

All beginning from a suggested "singularity" with incomprehensible energy.

Wow. Just wow.

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Tom the Photon
18 hours ago, pallidin said:

Ya know, the amount of stars and galaxies in the "observable universe" just blows me away.

All beginning from a suggested "singularity" with incomprehensible energy.

Wow. Just wow.

Too true.  Estimated stars in an average galaxy (our own, the Milky Way): 200 thousand million.

Estimated galaxies in the observable universe: 100 thousand million.

(Estimated galaxies in the universe beyond the observable: utterly meaningless speculation, but I reckon about 42.)

So that's about 2x1022 stars out there.  If they have an average of 5 planets each that's 1023 planets, or twelve million million for each human on Earth.  Plenty of places for those pesky Grays to hide when they're not out anally-probing innocent Americans!

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Waspie_Dwarf

NASA’s TESS Spacecraft Continues Testing Prior to First Observations

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After a successful launch on April 18, 2018, NASA’s newest planet hunter, the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite, is currently undergoing a series of commissioning tests before it begins searching for planets. The TESS team has reported that the spacecraft and cameras are in good health, and the spacecraft has successfully reached its final science orbit. The team continues to conduct tests in order to optimize spacecraft performance with a goal of beginning science at the end of July.  

Read More: NASA

 

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Waspie_Dwarf

NASA’s Planet-Hunting TESS Catches a Comet Before Starting Science

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Before NASA’s Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) started science operations on July 25, 2018, the planet hunter sent back a stunning sequence of serendipitous images showing the motion of a comet. Taken over the course of 17 hours on July 25, these TESS images helped demonstrate the satellite’s ability to collect a prolonged set of stable periodic images covering a broad region of the sky — all critical factors in finding transiting planets orbiting nearby stars.

Over the course of these tests, TESS took images of C/2018 N1, a comet discovered by NASA’s Near-Earth Object Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (NEOWISE) satellite on June 29. The comet, located about 29 million miles (48 million kilometers) from Earth in the southern constellation Piscis Austrinus, is seen to move across the frame from right to left as it orbits the Sun. The comet’s tail, which consists of gases carried away from the comet by an outflow from the Sun called the solar wind, extends to the top of the frame and gradually pivots as the comet glides across the field of view.

arrow3.gif  Read More: NASA

 

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Waspie_Dwarf

NASA’s TESS Shares First Science Image in Hunt to Find New Worlds

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tess_first_light-tb.jpg?itok=Yc0zTl9Q

NASA’s newest planet hunter, the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS), is now providing valuable data to help scientists discover and study exciting new exoplanets, or planets beyond our solar system. Part of the data from TESS’ initial science orbit includes a detailed picture of the southern sky taken with all four of the spacecraft’s wide-field cameras. This “first light” science image captures a wealth of stars and other objects, including systems previously known to have exoplanets.

arrow3.gif  Read More: NASA

 

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