NASA Complete First TESS Data Downlink

NASA has completed the first data downlink for their exoplanet hunter, TESS.
TESS will monitor over 200,000 of the brightest stars for temporary drops in brightness that indicate the possibility that a planet is orbiting the star | Image Credit: NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center/CI Lab

NASA has successfully completed their first downlink from the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS). The data will be shared with hundreds of scientists who will begin work on examining and verifying data collected by the satellite.

TESS is capable of 100 MiB/s downlinks through its Ka-band antenna. Downlinks are performed to the Deep Space Network every two weeks when the satellite is at its nearest point to Earth. The first downlink took 1.25 hours and collected 53 gigabytes of scientific data. The success of the first downlink was announced on the official NASA TESS account.

TESS began science operations on July 25, 2018 after completing a battery of tests. Over its two-year primary mission, TESS will perform wide and shallow-field surveys of nearly 85% of the sky with a range of up to 300 light years. Scientist expect the satellite to identify thousands of potential alien planets. Once a possible planet has been identified, researchers will utilise ground-based and space telescopes to validate the findings. Work on the data collected by TESS is expected.

Andrew Parsonson is a space enthusiast and the founder of Rocket Rundown. He has worked as a journalist and blogger for various industries for over 5 years and has a passion for both fictional and real-life space travel. Currently, Andrew is the primary writer for Rocket Rundown as we look to expand our reach and credibility.