NASA’s one of the most ambitious projects is considered to be TESS or Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite. Recently on May 17, TESS completed a full lunar flyby. This successful completion took almost a month’s time after it had taken off on April 18 from the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. It is believed that TESS roamed around 5000 miles from the moon’s surface. In its journey, the spacecraft Satellite has received a gravitational boost from the moon that will further accelerate its speed and help in achieving its target at a faster pace. In addition to its original mission, the scientists used one of the four high powerful cameras of the satellite to snatch away a two-second test image. The image depicted the Southern constellation Centaurus and highlighted more than 200,000 stars.
There are a large number of worlds which are believed to orbit around these stars. If the TESS is not about to detect most of them, it will surely find the trace of some of such worlds or unknown planets. Post its launch on April 18th TESS has gone through five out of six scheduled thruster burns. NASA has also confirmed that TESS will be entering the final thrust burn on May 30th which will enable it to enter into the 13.7-day science orbit around the Earth. This last round, of course, is specially made much elongated so that TESS can cover the maximum distance and can take a wider range of images.
NASA has all the plans to release the science quality pictures in June. Also, it is believed that TESS will make its science operations from the middle of the June month. TESS is the successor to its renowned Kepler satellite which had identified more than 2300 exoplanets in its entire lifetime. NASA further added that Kepler would run out fuel within a few months and so TESS has been sent to replace the much famous satellite at the earliest.
Since Kepler had a limitation in searching for such exoplanets in a particular region of the sky, TESS will have the freedom to look for such exoplanets in more than 85% of the Earth’s atmosphere. As per the latest research, scientists have segregated the sky into 26 zones. TESS is believed to use its four high definition cameras to inspect 13 sectors involving the southern sky and the remaining 13 sectors which will cover the northern sky.