[Via Satellite 12-28-2015] Vanguard Space Technologies has delivered the first set of three primary components for the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) program to Orbital ATK. Vanguard was responsible for structural engineering, fabrication, assembly and test of the High Gain Antenna (HGA), and fabrication and assembly of the TESS primary bus structure as well as the Camera Accommodation Structure (CAS).
TESS is based on Orbital ATK’s LEOStar 2 spacecraft platform, and is being executed at its satellite production and testing facility in Dulles, Va. TESS’ mission is to provide prime exoplanet candidates for further characterization by the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST), as well as other large ground-based and space-based telescopes in the future. The planned launch of TESS in mid-2017 is well matched to JWST’s scheduled launch in 2018 to maintain momentum in NASA’s exoplanet program. The principal goal of the TESS mission is to detect small planets with bright host stars in the solar neighborhood, so that detailed characterizations of the planets and their atmospheres can be performed.
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