April 24, 2013
NASA's Astrophysics Explorer Program has selected two missions for launch in 2017, including a planet-hunting satellite. The Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) was among four concept studies submitted in September 2012. NASA selected it based on its the scientific value and feasible development plans. The Space Telescope Science Institute, managed by AURA, is a partner on this mission in charge of the archive, education and public outreach, and the guest investigator program. TESS will use an array of telescopes to perform an all-sky survey to discover transiting exoplanets ranging from Earth-sized to gas giants, in orbit around the nearest and brightest stars in the sky. Its goal is to identify terrestrial planets in the habitable zones of nearby stars. Its principal investigator is George Ricker of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge.