The Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite or TESS was successfully launched on April 18, 2018 aboard a Space X Falcon 9 rocket.
The Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) is a space telescope for NASA‘s Explorers program, designed to search for exoplanets using the transit method in an area 400 times larger than that covered by the Kepler mission.
During its primary mission, it is expected to find more than 20,000 exoplanets,compared to about 3,800 exoplanets known when it launched.
The primary mission objective for TESS is to survey the brightest stars near the Earth for transiting exoplanets over a two-year period. The TESS project will use an array of wide-field cameras to perform a survey of 85% of the sky.
TESS will provide prime targets for further characterization by the James Webb Space Telescope, as well as other large ground-based and space-based telescopes of the future.
While previous sky surveys with ground-based telescopes have mainly detected giant exoplanets, TESS will examine a large number of small planets around the nearest stars in the sky.
TESS will record the nearest and brightest main sequence stars hosting transiting exoplanets, which are the most favorable targets for detailed investigations.