Transcripts of TESS_Orbit

TESS, the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite, is NASA's newest exoplanet mission. Led by MIT, TESS will find thousands of new planets orbiting nearby stars. To accomplish this, TESS will fly in a special, highly elliptical orbit that maximizes the amount of sky the spacecraft can image. Once TESS has launched, it will expand its orbit until it can get a gravitational assist from the Moon. This "slingshot" will move it into a stable orbit that is tipped at about 40 degrees from the Moon's orbital plane. TESS orbits Earth in exactly half the time it takes the Moon to orbit once. This feature helps stabilize the spacecraft's orbit against tugs from the Moon's gravity. TESS will spend most of its 13.7-day orbit observing the sky. As it approaches Earth, TESS will rotate, and transmit all its accumulated data to scientists on the ground. Over two years, this will allow TESS to study nearly the entire sky, and potentially find thousands of new exoplanets.