NASA’s New Exoplanet Survey Satellite


The image above shows workers checking and fixing errors on the TESS capsule in preparation for the launch.

By: Ashlee Hiller

NASA is preparing to launch the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) on April 16, 2018. TESS will spend the next two years exploring and mapping “85% of the sky”, according to NASA. If the capsule successfully completes its exploration, NASA will use it as a model for future telescopes or satellites.


Space exploration has been a tight race between countries since exploration first was made possible. Being able to map out larger portions of the space surrounding out planet could allow scientists to better understand the evolution of our planet and the beginning of the solar system. Discoveries like this could answer questions that have puzzled scientists for years.

This relates to engineering because electrical and mechanical engineers work on different probes, satellites, and rockets. Making these different things requires extensive precision. One small mistake can cause a failure of a mission or the death of an astronaut. Therefore, engineers spend years developing and planning one mission and do several checks on their designs and plans before tests even begin.