A Northrop Grumman-built satellite has discovered over 20 planets and conducted observations over Earth's southern hemisphere after being launched into orbit last year as part of a NASA mission.
The Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite went through a series of assessments before commencing a lunar flyby and in-space maneuvers in May 2018, Northrop said Thursday.
It has discovered objects of varying sizes, including a planet 89 percent the size of Earth and a red dwarf star one third the Sun's mass.
“The TESS observatory is exceeding expectations after just one year scanning the skies,“ said Steve Krein, vice president of civil and commercial satellites at Northrop.
Northrop based TESS on the company's LEOStar-2 spacecraft and facilitated construction and testing activities at its facility in Dulles, Va.
NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Maryland oversees the TESS mission while the Massachusetts Institute of Technology leads the effort.