The Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite is designed to identify planets nearby host stars to facilitate characterizations of those planets and their atmospheres through the use of four wide-field cameras, Orbital ATK said Wednesday.
Steve Krein, vice president of science and environmental satellite programs at Orbital ATK, said TESS is the 31st science satellite the company has developed for NASA in the last 35 years.
The TESS spacecraft is based on Orbital ATK’s LEOStar-2 satellite bus platform and will commence its two-year mission two months after launch and upon completion of in-orbit testing.
The Massachusetts Institute of Technology and NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center will respectively operate and manage the satellite for the space agency.
Orbital ATK developed TESS at its Dulles, Virginia-based satellite production facility and has begun assembly work on several spacecraft including the JPSS-2 weather satellite, ICON heliophysics explorer, Landsat-9 and ICESAT-2 satellites.