After “terrific” launch, TESS – first significant orbit-raising burn

After the successful launch, the new planet-hunting software of NASA has been reported to complete its initial post-launch thruster in the space. The spacecraft will orbit the earth for the next couple of days and will be sent towards the moon after getting a big boost post which it will take around two months to reach its final destination.

The satellite has been reported to reach the farthest point in the looping elliptical orbit. It is around 272,000 in altitude. The spacecraft left the satellite 200 miles above the earth surface on the last Wednesday. The launch took place at the Cape Canaveral, and the Falcon 9 Rocket took 50 minutes to lift the 362 kg of the satellite to the point where it was planned to drop by the rocket.

The TESS was launched to an oval transfer orbit by the rocket and as per plan; it will keep orbiting the earth for next few days as already mentioned. Four dominant thrusters have been deployed at the base of this planet-hunting satellite that will help in orbital adjustments. For keeping it pointed adequately, there are total four spinning wheels inside it.

The first perigee burns will play a significant role in lifting the satellite towards the moon which is scheduled around 17th May. It has been designed to make use of lunar gravity for reshaping its orbit near our home planet earth.

The operation Manager of this program has already confirmed that the satellite has been provided with two additional perigee burns that will help the satellite in turning correctly during the next two orbits or in case the first fails to perform its task. It has also been confirmed that everything is working fine as of now and the satellite bears good health.

The first engine burn took place on, and as per plan, the satellite turned ON the four cameras installed on it. Each camera is of 16.4 Megapixel, and there are 4 CCD detectors in it. The same will help the satellite to look for the planets orbiting their parent star. The satellite will send the full-frame images of the dips in starlight and scientist at earth will be using software-based algorithms to study them. During this two years mission, the satellite will survey around 85% area of the sky.