Author Topic: SpaceX Falcon 9 : TESS : NET April 16, 2018 : Discussion  (Read 65399 times)

Online Chris Bergin

Discussion Thread for TESS mission.

NSF Threads for TESS : Discussion / Updates
NSF Articles for TESS :

NET April 16, 2018 at 1958 EDT/2358 UTC on Falcon 9 from SLC-40 at KSC.  ASDS landing is expected.



December 16, 2014
NASA Awards Launch Services Contract for Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite

NASA has selected SpaceX to provide launch services for the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) mission. TESS will launch aboard a Falcon 9 v1.1 launch vehicle, with liftoff targeted for August 2017 from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida.

The total cost for NASA to launch TESS is approximately $87 million, which includes the launch service, spacecraft processing, payload integration, tracking, data and telemetry, and other launch support requirements.

TESS’s science goal is to detect transiting exoplanets orbiting nearby bright stars. During a three-year funded science mission, TESS will sample hundreds of thousands of stars in order to detect a large sample of exoplanets, with an emphasis on discovering Earth- and super-Earth-sized planets in the solar neighborhood.

The Launch Services Program at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida is responsible for management and oversight of the Falcon 9 v1.1 launch services for TESS. The TESS Mission is led by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, with oversight by the Explorers Program at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland.



Other SpaceX resources on NASASpaceflight:
   SpaceX News Articles (Recent)
   SpaceX News Articles from 2006 (Including numerous exclusive Elon interviews)
   SpaceX Dragon Articles
   SpaceX Missions Section (with Launch Manifest and info on past and future missions)

   L2 SpaceX Section

Online abaddon

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Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 : TESS : March 2018 : GENERAL THREAD
« Reply #1 on: 12/16/2014 08:21 PM »
Nice to see SpaceX win a NASA contract!  Anyone (Jim) know what tier this satellite is considered?  B?

Here's a little more info on TESS from Gunter's: http://space.skyrocket.de/doc_sdat/explorer_tess.htm.  From that page:

Quote
A launch vehicle has not been selected now, but TESS is baselined with Athena-2c or Taurus-3210, both with additional Star-37FM kick motor. The baselined launch site is Cape Canaveral. Also Antares and Falcon-9 v1.1 are considered.

Sounds like Atlas V was not a consideration.  The satellite is quite light, so I am guessing F9 will be able to do the job without any additional assistance.

Online ugordan

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Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 : TESS : March 2018 : GENERAL THREAD
« Reply #2 on: 12/16/2014 08:25 PM »
The LSP manifest shows TESS as a Medium Class mission.

Atlas V is grossly overpowered for this payload and so is Falcon 9 (I think, that periapsis is rather high...). OSC site states a launch mass of just 325 kg, albeit to a highly eccentric orbit that goes all the way out to the Moon's distance.

So Atlas might not have been even considered. I wonder what that says about the other options like Antares and Athena and their cost?
« Last Edit: 12/16/2014 08:38 PM by ugordan »

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Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 : TESS : March 2018 : GENERAL THREAD
« Reply #3 on: 12/16/2014 08:25 PM »
This is the first time I've seen the all inclusive pricing for a full launch services contact for SpaceX published. $62 million for just a rocket, $87 for the whole package....

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Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 : TESS : March 2018 : GENERAL THREAD
« Reply #4 on: 12/16/2014 08:28 PM »
This is the first time I've seen the all inclusive pricing for a full launch services contact for SpaceX published. $62 million for just a rocket, $87 for the whole package....

Jason-3 contract price was also published over 2 years ago.

Offline Comga

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Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 : TESS : March 2018 : GENERAL THREAD
« Reply #5 on: 12/16/2014 08:43 PM »
This is the first time I've seen the all inclusive pricing for a full launch services contact for SpaceX published. $62 million for just a rocket, $87 for the whole package....

Let's hope this is one of the hypothesized "$6-10M" RTLS flights.
Of course, if they try there will be people on this forum complaining that SpaceX is not prioritizing the payload by reserving fuel for boost-back.   :o
What kind of wastrels would dump a perfectly good booster in the ocean after just one use?

Offline ncb1397

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Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 : TESS : March 2018 : GENERAL THREAD
« Reply #6 on: 12/16/2014 08:43 PM »
So Atlas might not have been even considered. I wonder what that says about the other options like Antares and Athena and their cost?

Probably more to do with reliability questions than it does cost given Athena was out of production for so long with a bad track record to boot and Antares is undergoing a re-design with a very recent failure.

« Last Edit: 12/16/2014 08:45 PM by ncb1397 »

Offline joshcryer

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Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 : TESS : March 2018 : GENERAL THREAD
« Reply #7 on: 12/16/2014 08:45 PM »
Fantastic news for SpaceX and TESS. TESS is going to be a Kepler on steroids. It's going to really nail planets around down sun-like stars. Every time the TESS folks do a presentation you will be shocked by the numbers they're expecting. 20 million stars at 30 minute cadence (Kepler's ability). It also has one of the most fascinating orbital mechanics I've ever seen. Should be stable for decades without station keeping.

Here's a good overview:


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Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 : TESS : March 2018 : GENERAL THREAD
« Reply #8 on: 12/16/2014 08:51 PM »
Probably more to do with reliability questions than it does cost given Athena was out of production for so long with a bad track record to boot and Antares is undergoing a re-design with a very recent failure.

Maybe the orbit requirement (108 000 km periapsis) makes it difficult to do with solid upper stage vehicles. That leaves what, 1 Delta II out of VAFB and F9?

Nevermind that, just saw the orbital insertion plan in the video above. It's your "basic" GTO/TLI-type injection from LEO, but goes out to a 250 000 km apogee and the spacecraft does the rest of the maneuvering work.
« Last Edit: 12/16/2014 09:09 PM by ugordan »

Offline Comga

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Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 : TESS : March 2018 : GENERAL THREAD
« Reply #9 on: 12/16/2014 09:13 PM »
Nice to see SpaceX win a NASA contract!  Anyone (Jim) know what tier this satellite is considered?  B?

Here's a little more info on TESS from Gunter's: http://space.skyrocket.de/doc_sdat/explorer_tess.htm.  [snip]

Also from that page and the NASA link above the target orbit is  17 Earth Radii × 59 Earth Radii

That requires a two or three burn profile for the second stage.  Something like #1 to a (negative something) by 150 km "orbit", #2 to 150 by 110,000 km (17 Re) #3 to 110,00 by 376,000 km.  With such a light payload it might be possible to go directly from staging to (negative something) by 110,000 and avoid the additional relight.

A quick calculation says that it would take ~64 hours, over 2.5 days, to do the half orbit from LEO to 110,00 km for the last burn.  That's a long time for the second stage to function. 

edit: Per ugordon's edit above "Never Mind".  A fairly nominal suprasyncronous transfer orbit insertion.
« Last Edit: 12/16/2014 09:27 PM by Comga »
What kind of wastrels would dump a perfectly good booster in the ocean after just one use?

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Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 : TESS : March 2018 : GENERAL THREAD
« Reply #10 on: 12/16/2014 09:14 PM »
That requires a two or three burn profile for the second stage. 

See my comment above.

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Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 : TESS : March 2018 : GENERAL THREAD
« Reply #11 on: 12/16/2014 09:55 PM »
Fantastic news for SpaceX and TESS. TESS is going to be a Kepler on steroids. It's going to really nail planets around down sun-like stars. Every time the TESS folks do a presentation you will be shocked by the numbers they're expecting. 20 million stars at 30 minute cadence (Kepler's ability). It also has one of the most fascinating orbital mechanics I've ever seen. Should be stable for decades without station keeping.

Here's a good overview:



At 15:08 there is a good animation of the orbital insertion

Offline Norm38

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Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 : TESS : March 2018 : GENERAL THREAD
« Reply #12 on: 12/16/2014 11:50 PM »
That's a great overview video, one of the best I've seen for a science mission.
When they show the mockup with people standing next to it, it's quite small.  Can tell why they need a passively stable orbit, not much room for fuel.

Offline ChrisC

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Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 : TESS : March 2018 : GENERAL THREAD
« Reply #13 on: 12/17/2014 12:15 AM »
Fantastic news for SpaceX and TESS. TESS is going to be a Kepler on steroids. It's going to really nail planets around down sun-like stars. Every time the TESS folks do a presentation you will be shocked by the numbers they're expecting. 20 million stars at 30 minute cadence (Kepler's ability). It also has one of the most fascinating orbital mechanics I've ever seen. Should be stable for decades without station keeping.

Here's a good overview:

Fantastic information, thanks joshcryer!

I'm a huge fan of Kepler -- have watched every one of their news conferences, starting before launch.  In fact, just this morning I was listening to this interview with a planetary scientist, talking about Kepler, TESS and JWST.

http://www.planetary.org/multimedia/planetary-radio/show/2014/sara-seager-and-the-search-for-earths-twin.html
« Last Edit: 12/17/2014 05:15 AM by ChrisC »
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Offline yg1968

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Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 : TESS : March 2018 : GENERAL THREAD
« Reply #14 on: 12/17/2014 03:58 AM »
This NASA press release from a month ago on the next phase for TESS also belongs in this thread:
http://www.nasa.gov/content/goddard/nasa-s-tess-mission-cleared-for-next-development-phase/#.VJEM4iuG-1Q

Offline joshcryer

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Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 : TESS : March 2018 : GENERAL THREAD
« Reply #15 on: 12/17/2014 06:53 AM »
I'm a huge fan of Kepler -- have watched every one of their news conferences, starting before launch.  In fact, just this morning I was listening to this interview with a planetary scientist, talking about Kepler, TESS and JWST.

Same here, Borucki made me fall in love with the transit concept when I first learned of Kepler. I later watched an old Neil deGrasse Tyson course (The Inexplicable Universe: Unsolved Mysteries) where he talked about a "promising transit technique that hasn't been tried yet." Turns out it was not just promising, it was the best technique possible. And to think when Borucki first envisioned it the technology didn't even exist yet.

To add to the thread for others interested, TESS has social media pages.

Twitter @ MIT: https://twitter.com/TESSatMIT

Twitter @ NASA: https://twitter.com/NASA_TESS

Web @ MIT: http://space.mit.edu/TESS/

Web @ NASA: http://tess.gsfc.nasa.gov/

Facebook (they update mostly here, but I'm sure it'll change as time gets closer): https://www.facebook.com/NASATESS

Finally, TESS announced that they won't have a proprietary data period, and that they'll be dumping the data to the community as soon as possible on this FB post: https://www.facebook.com/NASATESS/posts/744397388947684

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Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 : TESS : March 2018 : GENERAL THREAD
« Reply #16 on: 12/21/2014 03:42 PM »
So Atlas might not have been even considered. I wonder what that says about the other options like Antares and Athena and their cost?
Athena 2c is supposedly priced at $65 million, less than the $87 million now allocated for this Falcon 9 launch, but NASA would also have had to fund a Star 37 kick motor for an Athena 2c launch, not to mention restarting the long-dormant SLC 47 launch site.  Falcon 9 probably also provides a lot more wiggle room on weight growth.

I wonder where the second stage will be disposed.

 - Ed kyle
« Last Edit: 12/21/2014 04:08 PM by edkyle99 »

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Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 : TESS : March 2018 : GENERAL THREAD
« Reply #17 on: 12/21/2014 04:58 PM »
Ed, you're comparing a full contract including services to one without.  That is not an apples to apples comparison.

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Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 : TESS : March 2018 : GENERAL THREAD
« Reply #18 on: 12/21/2014 10:01 PM »
So Atlas might not have been even considered. I wonder what that says about the other options like Antares and Athena and their cost?
Athena 2c is supposedly priced at $65 million, less than the $87 million now allocated for this Falcon 9 launch, but NASA would also have had to fund a Star 37 kick motor for an Athena 2c launch, not to mention restarting the long-dormant SLC 47 launch site.  Falcon 9 probably also provides a lot more wiggle room on weight growth.

I wonder where the second stage will be disposed.

 - Ed kyle
IIRC, the certification cost for the first NASA mission was expected to be 10M. The Athena 2c certification should cost about the same, shouldn't it?

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Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 : TESS : March 2018 : GENERAL THREAD
« Reply #19 on: 03/20/2015 09:32 PM »
NASA | The Search for New Worlds is Here

Published on Mar 20, 2015
The Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) is an astrophysics Explorer-class mission between NASA and MIT. After launching in 2017, TESS will use four cameras to scan the entire sky, searching for planets outside our Solar System, known as exoplanets. The mission will monitor over 500,000 of the brightest stars in the sky, searching for dips in their brightness that would indicate a planet transiting across. TESS is predicted to find over 3,000 exoplanet candidates, ranging from gas giants to small rocky planets. About 500 of these planets are expected to be similar to Earth's size. The stars TESS monitors will be 30-100 times brighter than those observed by Kepler, making follow-up observations much easier. Using TESS data, missions like the James Webb Space Telescope can determine specific characteristics of these planets, including whether they could support life.

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Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 : TESS : March 2018 : GENERAL THREAD
« Reply #20 on: 03/21/2015 01:31 AM »
So Atlas might not have been even considered. I wonder what that says about the other options like Antares and Athena and their cost?
Athena 2c is supposedly priced at $65 million, less than the $87 million now allocated for this Falcon 9 launch, but NASA would also have had to fund a Star 37 kick motor for an Athena 2c launch, not to mention restarting the long-dormant SLC 47 launch site.  Falcon 9 probably also provides a lot more wiggle room on weight growth.

I wonder where the second stage will be disposed.

 - Ed kyle

Didn't ULA have one more Delta II to bid with?   
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Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 : TESS : March 2018 : GENERAL THREAD
« Reply #21 on: 03/21/2015 01:40 AM »
In some of Tory Bruno's interviews he has mulled it not being worth the effort to sell the last white tail.
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Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 : TESS : March 2018 : GENERAL THREAD
« Reply #22 on: 03/21/2015 01:47 AM »
I don't think Delta II would be competitive with Falcon 9 now.  The article I found on last Delta II purchases said NASA paid $400M for 3 flights (including processing and everything else).  SpaceX has been offering that for less than $90M/flight.

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Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 : TESS : March 2018 : GENERAL THREAD
« Reply #23 on: 03/21/2015 12:48 PM »
I don't think Delta II would be competitive with Falcon 9 now.  The article I found on last Delta II purchases said NASA paid $400M for 3 flights (including processing and everything else).  SpaceX has been offering that for less than $90M/flight.

That makes the last Delta II cost more than a Atlas V: D II $133M to Atlas V 401 $120M. So yes it is not worth the effort.

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Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 : TESS : March 2018 : GENERAL THREAD
« Reply #24 on: 03/21/2015 12:53 PM »
NASA pays more than $120m for an Atlas V.
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Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 : TESS : March 2018 : GENERAL THREAD
« Reply #25 on: 03/21/2015 01:48 PM »
NASA pays more than $120m for an Atlas V.
Yes, I believe that they pay something like 180 for a 401 and 320 for a 551.

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Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 : TESS : March 2018 : GENERAL THREAD
« Reply #26 on: 03/21/2015 03:55 PM »
Quote

Didn't ULA have one more Delta II to bid with?

Can only be launch from SLC-2W at VAFB. Which ULA might want to close down after the 2017 ICESat-2 mission to further reduce the upkeep cost for their pads.

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Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 : TESS : March 2018 : GENERAL THREAD
« Reply #27 on: 03/21/2015 04:05 PM »
SLC-2 is owned by NASA

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Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 : TESS : March 2018 : GENERAL THREAD
« Reply #28 on: 03/21/2015 04:18 PM »
SLC-2 is owned by NASA
Was thinking of the staffing & GSE cost for the pad.

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Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 : TESS : March 2018 : GENERAL THREAD
« Reply #29 on: 03/21/2015 06:26 PM »
I don't think Delta II would be competitive with Falcon 9 now.  The article I found on last Delta II purchases said NASA paid $400M for 3 flights (including processing and everything else).  SpaceX has been offering that for less than $90M/flight.

That makes the last Delta II cost more than a Atlas V: D II $133M to Atlas V 401 $120M. So yes it is not worth the effort.

The latest (and probably final) Delta II launch for IceSat-2 was about $97M. But they might not have been able to offer that price for TESS.

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Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 : TESS : March 2018 : GENERAL THREAD
« Reply #30 on: 05/27/2016 01:53 PM »
Tweet from Sara Seager
Quote
Looks like we’ll be spending Xmas 2017 at Cape Canaveral. New TESS launch date “no earlier than 20 December, 2017”

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Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 : TESS : March 2018 : GENERAL THREAD
« Reply #31 on: 10/07/2016 08:23 AM »
NASA’s TESS Mission Will Provide Exciting Exoplanet Targets for Years to Come

NASA's search for planets outside of our solar system has mostly involved very distant, faint stars. NASA’s upcoming Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS), by contrast, will look at the brightest stars in our solar neighborhood.

After TESS launches, it will quickly start discovering new exoplanets that ground-based observatories, the Hubble Space Telescope and, later, the James Webb Space Telescope, will target for follow-up studies. TESS is scheduled to launch no later than June 2018. Astronomers are eagerly anticipating the possibility that, in the near future, all three space missions could be studying the sky at the same time.

“The problem is that we’ve had very few exoplanet targets that are good for follow-up,” said TESS Project Scientist Stephen Rinehart at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland. “TESS will change that.”

Planets around closer, brighter stars are ideal for follow-up study because they'll produce stronger signals than planets around more distant stars. These planets have a higher signal-to-noise ratio, which measures the ratio of useful information — the signal — to non-useful information — the noise — that a telescope receives. These signals might also include a chemical sampling of an exoplanet's atmosphere, which is an exciting prospect for scientists hoping to search for signs of life on distant worlds.

TESS will do the initial roundup of exoplanets, with the potential to identify thousands during its projected two-year mission. One of TESS’ main science goals is to identify 50 rocky worlds, like Earth or Venus, whose masses can be measured.

“The search for exoplanets is a bit like a funnel where you pour in lots of stars,” said TESS Deputy Science Director Sara Seager at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Cambridge. “At the end of the day, you have loads of planets, and from there you need to find the rocky ones.”

The TESS Science Center will help identify and prioritize the TESS Objects of Interest (TOI) for follow-up. TOI are objects that scientists believe could be exoplanets based on TESS data. Ground-based telescopes will confirm which TOI are exoplanets, and from there will help determine which are rocky. The center is a partnership between MIT's Physics Department and Kavli Institute for Astrophysics and Space Research — where TESS Principle Investigator George Ricker resides — the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and NASA’s Ames Research Center in Moffett Field, California.

The main thing space- and ground-based telescopes hope to find out about the TESS targets with follow-up observations is what these exoplanet atmospheres are like. Exoplanet atmosphere exploration is one of the Webb telescope's four main science goals.

NASA's Webb telescope and ground-based telescopes will determine the atmospheres of exoplanets using spectroscopy. In this process, telescopes look at the chemical signatures of the light passing through exoplanet atmospheres. This signature can tells scientists what chemicals are in the planetary atmosphere, and how much of each there are. It can also help scientists determine whether a planet could be habitable.

“There are a couple of things we like to see as a potential for habitability – one of them is water, which is probably the single most important, because as far as we know, all life that we’re familiar with depends on water in some way,” Rinehart said. “The other is methane, which on our Earth is produced almost entirely biologically. When you start seeing certain combinations of all of these things appearing together – water, methane, ozone, oxygen – it gives you a hint that the chemistry is out of equilibrium. Naturally, planets tend to be chemically stable. The presence of life throws off this balance.”

Exoplanets aren’t the only science that will come out of the TESS all-sky survey, however. While scientists expect to spot a transit signal that could reveal exoplanets around only about one out of 100 stars, virtually every star in the sky will be monitored carefully and continuously for at least 27 days, resulting in a wide variety of variability to be explored.

The TESS Guest Investigator (GI) Program will allow for deeper investigations of astronomically interesting objects, either through TESS data alone, or by identifying interesting variables for further study with the Webb telescope, Hubble and other ground- and space-based telescopes. The GI Program will look at variable objects, such as flare stars, active galaxies and supernovae, and may even discover optical counterparts to distant transient events, such as gamma-ray bursts. Only the number and type of exciting proposed ideas the program receives limit what TESS will find through the GI Program.

Between the mission’s exoplanet survey and the GI Program, TESS will provide the best follow-up targets for many missions to come.

“TESS not only will provide targets for the Webb telescope, but for every telescope we plan to build on the ground and in space over the next two decades,” said Mark Clampin, director of the Astrophysics Science Division at Goddard. With such an exciting future, scientists from around the world are watching the progress of the TESS mission, and anxiously awaiting its launch.

Related Links

NASA's TESS website
TESS project website
By Elaine Hunt
NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Md.

Last Updated: Oct. 5, 2016
Editor: Rob Garner

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Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 : TESS : March 2018 : GENERAL THREAD
« Reply #32 on: 10/07/2016 09:48 AM »
The thread title still says v1.1, but I assume TESS will be launched on a F9 v1.2 instead?

The thread title still says v1.1, but I assume TESS will be launched on a F9 v1.2 instead?
Or 1.3 as suggested by recent news  ;) maybe it's better to remove the v number altogether
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Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 : TESS : March 2018 : GENERAL THREAD
« Reply #34 on: 10/07/2016 07:28 PM »
Let's not go down the "is Falcon the US Proton" road, ok?

I actually had a warning queued up earlier but figured you all weren't going to go down that road...
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Offline Mader Levap

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Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 : TESS : March 2018 : GENERAL THREAD
« Reply #35 on: 10/07/2016 08:07 PM »
It is a good thing then that this is not launched on something that "de facto" is the American version of Proton.
Well, since Lar warned against discussing F9 vs Proton, I will say just that: two failures in 14 months is unacceptable. Period. No wild handwaves nor endless excuses will change that.

I do not want for F9 to launch anything important (read: costing billions) any time soon. It must prove itself all over again from scratch.
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Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 : TESS : March 2018 : GENERAL THREAD
« Reply #36 on: 10/07/2016 08:10 PM »
It is a good thing then that this is not launched on something that "de facto" is the American version of Proton.
Well, since Lar warned against discussing F9 vs Proton, I will say just that: two failures in 14 months is unacceptable. Period. No wild handwaves nor endless excuses will change that.

I do not want for F9 to launch anything important (read: costing billions) any time soon. It must prove itself all over again from scratch.
Take it to another thread. Second warning.
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Offline Archibald

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Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 : TESS : March 2018 : GENERAL THREAD
« Reply #37 on: 10/09/2016 10:34 AM »
I didn't realized that a) TESS was going to fly next year and b) it was booked to a Falcon 9. Considering Kepler (including the K2 mission) outstanding results, I just can't imagine what TESS results will be.

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Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 : TESS : March 2018 : GENERAL THREAD
« Reply #38 on: 10/11/2016 06:36 AM »
I didn't realized that a) TESS was going to fly next year and b) it was booked to a Falcon 9. Considering Kepler (including the K2 mission) outstanding results, I just can't imagine what TESS results will be.

The article above says "TESS is scheduled to launch no later than June 2018." Considering how spacecraft and launches are so often delayed, I would expect a launch to be in 2018.
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Offline Sam Ho

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Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 : TESS : March 2018 : GENERAL THREAD
« Reply #39 on: 10/11/2016 04:49 PM »
The thread title still says v1.1, but I assume TESS will be launched on a F9 v1.2 instead?
Or 1.3 as suggested by recent news  ;) maybe it's better to remove the v number altogether
Tweet from Sara Seager
Quote
Looks like we’ll be spending Xmas 2017 at Cape Canaveral. New TESS launch date “no earlier than 20 December, 2017”
I didn't realized that a) TESS was going to fly next year and b) it was booked to a Falcon 9. Considering Kepler (including the K2 mission) outstanding results, I just can't imagine what TESS results will be.

The article above says "TESS is scheduled to launch no later than June 2018." Considering how spacecraft and launches are so often delayed, I would expect a launch to be in 2018.

According to their website, all of the above are true.  It still says launch is on F9 v1.1 (despite that launcher no longer existing) and gives both December 2017 as the working launch date and June 2018 as the NLT date.

Quote
SpaceX Falcon 9 v1.1 Launch Vehicle
Quote
The TESS launch date is NLT June 2018 (the current working launch date is December 2017).

https://tess.gsfc.nasa.gov/launch.html

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Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 : TESS : March 2018 : GENERAL THREAD
« Reply #40 on: 12/25/2016 06:38 PM »


This is a SETI video on TESS.



It includes immediately after this at 26 minutes or so a short discussion of the launcher, along with some shots of TESS structural fit testing on a F9 mockup. And a ridiculous to-scale in the fairing image.
At about 1:01, there is a discussion of the original designs, and the plans for launching on the orbital sciences Taurus/Minotaur-C which has a maximum payload to LEO of 1350kg but by the time the vehicle got picked, it was too late to optimise.
F9 was the lowest bidder..

Other notable facts - it ends up in its final 14 day orbit which is metastable, and the anticipation is that they need 50 or so grams of fuel a year to do desaturations. It has 20kg of fuel remaining of the 40kg initial hydrazine, and no other consumables.

"Launch around the end of 2017, maybe a bit later" - which is consistent with above in thread.
(odd - for some reason the thread title was accidentally changed)
« Last Edit: 12/26/2016 05:15 AM by speedevil »

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Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 : TESS : March 2018 : GENERAL THREAD
« Reply #41 on: 01/02/2017 08:22 PM »
Quote
Jeff Foust – ‏@jeff_foust
At #ExoPAG mtg, NASA’s Martin Still says TESS exoplanet mission on track, but Dec. launch on F9 could slip due to SpaceX schedule issues.

https://mobile.twitter.com/jeff_foust/status/816015605748867073

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Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 : TESS : March 2018 : GENERAL THREAD
« Reply #42 on: 01/05/2017 08:44 PM »
Quote
Jeff Foust –  ‏@jeff_foust

Hertz’s chart of missions shows a Dec 2017 launch date for TESS. But hearing launch schedule issues will delay it to early 2018. #AAS229

https://mobile.twitter.com/jeff_foust/status/817090471377780736

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Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 : TESS : March 2018 : GENERAL THREAD
« Reply #43 on: 01/05/2017 10:08 PM »
This shouldn't be surprising since TESS is like number 30 something on SpaceX's launch manifest...

Offline gongora

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Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 : TESS : March 2018 : GENERAL THREAD
« Reply #44 on: 01/06/2017 06:07 PM »
Tweet from NASA_TESS
Quote
After review of the SpaceX Falcon 9 launch vehicle certification schedule & anomaly recovery @NASA_TESS launch date has moved to NET 3/20/18

No surprise there, middle of the previously stated December to June window.

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Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 : TESS : March 2018 : GENERAL THREAD
« Reply #45 on: 03/28/2017 06:00 PM »
Tweet from Jeff Foust:
Quote
Hertz adds TESS launch on a Falcon 9 slipped from December 2017 to March 2018 because of NASA launch vehicle certification delays.

Offline Comga

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Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 : TESS : March 2018 : GENERAL THREAD
« Reply #46 on: 03/28/2017 09:26 PM »
Tweet from Jeff Foust:
Quote
Hertz adds TESS launch on a Falcon 9 slipped from December 2017 to March 2018 because of NASA launch vehicle certification delays.

There are now about five posts in a row giving the same delay but with evolving reasons:
"... F9 could slip due to SpaceX schedule issues."
"After review of the SpaceX Falcon 9 launch vehicle certification schedule & anomaly recovery @NASA_TESS launch date has moved .."
"...because of NASA launch vehicle certification delays."
What kind of wastrels would dump a perfectly good booster in the ocean after just one use?

Offline Norm38

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Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 : TESS : March 2018 : GENERAL THREAD
« Reply #47 on: 03/29/2017 02:13 PM »
And a ridiculous to-scale in the fairing image.

Based on the small size of this payload, I assume this is RTLS? Has that been announced?

Offline whitelancer64

And a ridiculous to-scale in the fairing image.

Based on the small size of this payload, I assume this is RTLS? Has that been announced?

TESS is 350 kg - so yes. Very RTLS.
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Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 : TESS : March 2018 : GENERAL THREAD
« Reply #49 on: 03/29/2017 04:11 PM »
And a ridiculous to-scale in the fairing image.

Based on the small size of this payload, I assume this is RTLS? Has that been announced?

TESS is 350 kg - so yes. Very RTLS.

Good candate for a falcon 1 type veh or ride share

Offline pb2000

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Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 : TESS : March 2018 : GENERAL THREAD
« Reply #50 on: 03/29/2017 04:38 PM »
And a ridiculous to-scale in the fairing image.

Based on the small size of this payload, I assume this is RTLS? Has that been announced?

TESS is 350 kg - so yes. Very RTLS.

Good candate for a falcon 1 type veh or ride share

The final orbit is a bit unique, which may not be very useful to other spacecraft.
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Offline Comga

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Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 : TESS : March 2018 : GENERAL THREAD
« Reply #51 on: 03/29/2017 06:20 PM »
And a ridiculous to-scale in the fairing image.

Based on the small size of this payload, I assume this is RTLS? Has that been announced?

TESS is 350 kg - so yes. Very RTLS.

Good candate for a falcon 1 type veh or ride share

Better is the enemy of good enough.
What kind of wastrels would dump a perfectly good booster in the ocean after just one use?

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Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 : TESS : March 2018 : GENERAL THREAD
« Reply #52 on: 03/29/2017 08:17 PM »
And a ridiculous to-scale in the fairing image.

Based on the small size of this payload, I assume this is RTLS? Has that been announced?

TESS is 350 kg - so yes. Very RTLS.

Good candate for a falcon 1 type veh or ride share

Just for the record - the alternatives considered were Athena-2c or Taurus-3210, both with additional Star-37FM, an Antares with kick-motor or the unmodified, but somewhat oversized Falcon-9.

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Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 : TESS : March 2018 : GENERAL THREAD
« Reply #53 on: 03/29/2017 09:07 PM »
Just for the record - the alternatives considered were Athena-2c or Taurus-3210, both with additional Star-37FM, an Antares with kick-motor or the unmodified, but somewhat oversized Falcon-9.
Interesting, I did not know Antares was certified to carry a Class B (I think?) payload.  Or was anticipated to be certified to do that.

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Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 : TESS : March 2018 : GENERAL THREAD
« Reply #54 on: 03/29/2017 10:05 PM »
Just for the record - the alternatives considered were Athena-2c or Taurus-3210, both with additional Star-37FM, an Antares with kick-motor or the unmodified, but somewhat oversized Falcon-9.
Interesting, I did not know Antares was certified to carry a Class B (I think?) payload.  Or was anticipated to be certified to do that.
AFAIK, Antares was anticipated to be certified to do that.

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Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 : TESS : March 2018 : GENERAL THREAD
« Reply #55 on: 03/31/2017 05:48 PM »
Quote
A look inside the @NASA_TESS spacecraft @OrbitalATK; @NASA's next #exoplanet hunter!

https://twitter.com/nasa_tess/status/847866169709166592

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Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 : TESS : March 2018 : GENERAL THREAD
« Reply #56 on: 04/01/2017 10:17 AM »
....
Just for the record - the alternatives considered were Athena-2c or Taurus-3210, both with additional Star-37FM, an Antares with kick-motor or the unmodified, but somewhat oversized Falcon-9.

Out of the launch alternatives, the Falcon 9 was the low bid for the TESS mission. No wonder LockMart shelf the Athena. Since it appears to be non-competitive. Think it will get worst for the small sat launch providers, now that the "flight proven"  Falcon 9 enters the picture.

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Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 : TESS : March 2018 : GENERAL THREAD
« Reply #57 on: 05/19/2017 05:54 PM »
From the recent GAO overview of NASA projects (pdf file) that has been mentioned in a couple other threads:

Quote
Cost and Schedule Status
The TESS project delayed its launch readiness date by 7 months from August 2017 to March 2018 due to launch vehicle and instrument-related delays, but it still plans to launch before its committed launch date and within its cost baseline. ...

Launch
According to NASA officials, several launch vehicle related issues led to the delay in TESS’s planned launch date. First, SpaceX required additional time to certify its upgraded Falcon 9 through NASA’s Launch Services Program since it will be the first time that NASA will use this version of the vehicle. The certification process includes criteria, such as having six successful launches. In addition, SpaceX needed time to investigate and resolve an anomaly that caused a September 2016 launch mishap. NASA has renegotiated its launch contract with SpaceX to account for these delays. SpaceX continues to upgrade the Falcon 9 and, as part of the negotiation process, NASA gained the right not to be the first launch on the planned Block 5 version of the vehicle.

PROJECT OFFICE COMMENTS
In commenting on a draft of this assessment, TESS project officials said they are on track to meet their March 2018 launch date, and are holding a significant amount of schedule reserves

Hopefully Block 5 will be flying before TESS anyway.  I assume it can fly on Block 5 if that version of the rocket has some successful launches by then.

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Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 : TESS : March 2018 : GENERAL THREAD
« Reply #58 on: 06/27/2017 03:15 PM »
Quote
The spacecraft team @OrbitalATK checks out the installation of one of the two solar arrays that will provide power to @NASA's @NASA_TESS.

https://twitter.com/nasa_tess/status/879707138720882689

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Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 : TESS : March 2018 : GENERAL THREAD
« Reply #59 on: 07/27/2017 01:58 PM »
http://spacenews.com/cameras-on-nasa-exoplanet-spacecraft-slightly-out-of-focus/

Quote
The TESS team thinks there will be a 10 percent cut in terms of the number of planets that they expect to be able to detect.
Quote
Despite the reduction, Boss said TESS scientists believe they will still be able to meet the mission’s primary science requirements, and thus there is no need to fix the cameras.

Offline Star One

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SpaceX Falcon 9 : TESS : March 2018 : GENERAL THREAD
« Reply #60 on: 07/28/2017 06:43 PM »
http://spacenews.com/cameras-on-nasa-exoplanet-spacecraft-slightly-out-of-focus/

Quote
The TESS team thinks there will be a 10 percent cut in terms of the number of planets that they expect to be able to detect.
Quote
Despite the reduction, Boss said TESS scientists believe they will still be able to meet the mission’s primary science requirements, and thus there is no need to fix the cameras.

Quote
Jeff Foust @jeff_foust
Updated our article on TESS spacecraft camera focus issue with additional NASA comment playing down the problem:

https://mobile.twitter.com/jeff_foust/status/890951536141975553

From the revised article.

Quote
Chou added July 28 that the out-of-focus area is limited to the outer edges of the image, and that “recent testing shows that the camera focus towards the image center is better than originally designed.”
« Last Edit: 07/28/2017 06:45 PM by Star One »

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Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 : TESS : March 2018 : GENERAL THREAD
« Reply #61 on: 07/28/2017 07:25 PM »
Well, that makes sense. I am working on scientific instruments, not on TESS though. It is common that the focal surface of some optical system is curved (spherical) but the detector usually flat. There are curved detectors but they are experimental and not used (yet). So imagine a spherical focal surface intersected by a flat detector surface. If you minimize the offset between both surfaces everywhere, both the center and the edges of the flat detector surface are somewhat out of focus. The optimal focus is on a ring somewhere in between. If the optics is such that the edges are more out of focus, by geometry, the center is more in focus, meaning the flat detector surface is closer to the spherical optical focal surface.
For this reason, usually the detector or optics can be pistoned just a little bit to adjust the focus for operational conditions. This is done manually in commissioning and not touched later. Unless the conditions change of course. I am surprised that TESS does not have such a system.

Offline jgoldader

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Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 : TESS : March 2018 : GENERAL THREAD
« Reply #62 on: 07/29/2017 12:16 PM »
There's a ppt about camera construction and testing here at NTRS:
https://ntrs.nasa.gov/archive/nasa/casi.ntrs.nasa.gov/20160010628.pdf

The cameras are f/1.4, so I expect focusing is going to be dodgy to begin with, with significant field curvature.  As Semmel noted above, the focal "plane" is curved, but the CCDs are not.  The best you can get is some optimal focus, which in the perfect world would cause only minimal PSF (point-spread function, basically the shape of a point source, like a star) variation across the field.  All this can be modeled (see the NTRS paper above, there are PSF models on p. 28) and surely, they thought the optical system design was adequate.  From the SpaceNews article, it sounds like the CCDs might be too far forward or backward on the optical axis (the remark about glue crystallization makes me think of expansion or contraction).

The reason for reduced effectiveness in finding planets is that if you spread the PSF over more pixels, you add noise to the photometry, because each pixel contributes noise.  More noise means you are less sensitive to smaller variations in brightness.  So, near the center of the FOV, all could be well, but the signal-to-noise ratios would be lower than expected farther from the center of the field.

The article says the mission should meet its primary goals, so it's not immediately clear if the PSF is actually out-of-spec, or just not as good as hoped for.  It isn't obvious that anybody even messed up; it could be that the sample tests and such didn't scale up as expected based on some reference formula.  In any case, the final word won't come until TESS is in space and has outgassed and cooled.
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Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 : TESS : March 2018 : GENERAL THREAD
« Reply #63 on: 07/29/2017 08:24 PM »
I didn't check the optical system. F/1.4 is pretty fast indeed. For those who don't know that is the ratio of rays convergence to focus. So imagine a defocus if 5 microns, than the PSF would become larger by 5/1.4=3.5 microns. With such a fast beam, the surface roughness of the CCD becomes problematic. I can't talk about what the surface of our CCDs looks l like, but the lowest to highest point can be more than 10 microns hight difference. This alone can mean that the size of the PSF varies by more than a pixel in diameter over the field, even with perfect optics.

Offline Comga

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Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 : TESS : March 2018 : GENERAL THREAD
« Reply #64 on: 07/30/2017 05:17 AM »
Well, that makes sense. I am working on scientific instruments, not on TESS though. It is common that the focal surface of some optical system is curved (spherical) but the detector usually flat. There are curved detectors but they are experimental and not used (yet). So imagine a spherical focal surface intersected by a flat detector surface. If you minimize the offset between both surfaces everywhere, both the center and the edges of the flat detector surface are somewhat out of focus. The optimal focus is on a ring somewhere in between. If the optics is such that the edges are more out of focus, by geometry, the center is more in focus, meaning the flat detector surface is closer to the spherical optical focal surface.
For this reason, usually the detector or optics can be pistoned just a little bit to adjust the focus for operational conditions. This is done manually in commissioning and not touched later. Unless the conditions change of course. I am surprised that TESS does not have such a system.
There is no curvature of field in the design
(The first two authors are Primeau and Chrisp.  They are terrific optical designers and optimized several orders beyond field curvature.)
That the center is better than expected and the edges worse is probably a complex issue of tolerancing.
And "crystallization" may be a simplification of having the bond material pass its glass transition temperature warmer or colder than expected. Beyond that point the coefficient of thermal expansion changes significantly.
Passive focus of very cold instruments is really tricky. Even for JPL.
What kind of wastrels would dump a perfectly good booster in the ocean after just one use?

Offline jg

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Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 : TESS : March 2018 : GENERAL THREAD
« Reply #65 on: 07/30/2017 04:27 PM »
Well, that makes sense. I am working on scientific instruments, not on TESS though. It is common that the focal surface of some optical system is curved (spherical) but the detector usually flat. There are curved detectors but they are experimental and not used (yet). So imagine a spherical focal surface intersected by a flat detector surface. If you minimize the offset between both surfaces everywhere, both the center and the edges of the flat detector surface are somewhat out of focus. The optimal focus is on a ring somewhere in between. If the optics is such that the edges are more out of focus, by geometry, the center is more in focus, meaning the flat detector surface is closer to the spherical optical focal surface.
For this reason, usually the detector or optics can be pistoned just a little bit to adjust the focus for operational conditions. This is done manually in commissioning and not touched later. Unless the conditions change of course. I am surprised that TESS does not have such a system.
There is no curvature of field in the design
(The first two authors are Primeau and Chrisp.  They are terrific optical designers and optimized several orders beyond field curvature.)
That the center is better than expected and the edges worse is probably a complex issue of tolerancing.
And "crystallization" may be a simplification of having the bond material pass its glass transition temperature warmer or colder than expected. Beyond that point the coefficient of thermal expansion changes significantly.
Passive focus of very cold instruments is really tricky. Even for JPL.
Or the corrector plates aren't up to snuff.  F1.4 is extremely fast and making the corrector plates for that kind of optical design really difficult.

Offline ccdengr

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Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 : TESS : March 2018 : GENERAL THREAD
« Reply #66 on: 07/30/2017 06:27 PM »
Or the corrector plates aren't up to snuff.
This is an all-refractive lens with seven elements, two aspherical.

If you read the report you'll see that the assembly flow is very complex and finicky.  If I had been reviewing this design I'd have been very skeptical that a high level of athermalization was a realistic expectation -- the results don't look too bad to me.

Offline jg

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Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 : TESS : March 2018 : GENERAL THREAD
« Reply #67 on: 07/30/2017 06:43 PM »
Or the corrector plates aren't up to snuff.
This is an all-refractive lens with seven elements, two aspherical.

If you read the report you'll see that the assembly flow is very complex and finicky.  If I had been reviewing this design I'd have been very skeptical that a high level of athermalization was a realistic expectation -- the results don't look too bad to me.

Even more routine f/2.0 systems are really hard to get right. 

The ATLAS design, a Wright Schmidt f/2.0 system, which are being used with flat 10Kx10K CCD chips, found their original corrector plates were not well enough made, and have been replacing them.  http://www.fallingstar.com/specifications.php This caused focus problems (rather, you could never get the size images you needed).

I am a member of the Amateur Telescope Makers of Boston.  One of our members is an optical technician who fabricates a lot of precision optics for satellites and ground systems, and I chatted with him about ATLAS's problems. Making big pieces of aspheric glass (with the surfaces different), is really quite hard according to him.  F/1.4 is much more of a nightmare.  If they have "good enough" optics, great. 

ATLAS didn't have "good enough", so had to have them remade, as it makes a factor of five in ATLAS' asteroid detection rate.


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Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 : TESS : March 2018 : GENERAL THREAD
« Reply #68 on: 07/30/2017 07:25 PM »
There's more detail in TESS status update from the recent APAC meeting: https://smd-prod.s3.amazonaws.com/science-red/s3fs-public/atoms/files/Ricker_TESS_APAC_July%202017_v5.pdf
« Last Edit: 10/13/2017 08:41 PM by gongora »

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Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 : TESS : March 2018 : GENERAL THREAD
« Reply #69 on: 07/30/2017 09:44 PM »

There is no curvature of field in the design

I think a better statement would be "as far as practical, the focal plane has no curvature".  If you look at the graphs of lens performance (see TESS status, page 10) you will see that if you get best focus in the middle, best focus at 6o degrees off axis needs a 20 micron shift, then 40 microns at 12 o, then back to 20 microns at 16o.  This is pretty typical - best focus typically looks like a low order polynomial in distance from the center.   

The fundamental problem is that a flat focal surface is a very "unnatural" configuration.  Each surface, when varied, produces a smooth radial function of best focus.  But the function is different for every surface, so all you can do is get them to cancel approximately.  This also induces tough constraints on other surfaces as well.

To see how hard optical systems need to work to approximate a flat field is, consider this paper.  By allowing a curved focal plane, with otherwise the same specs, the reduce a design with 14 lenses, 2 aspheres, and 10 types of glass, to a design with 9 lenses, no aspheres, and 3 types of glass.

Or intuitively, how does your eye get such good results for a single lens made of jelly?  A lot of it is because your retina is a strongly curved focal surface.


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Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 : TESS : March 2018 : GENERAL THREAD
« Reply #70 on: 07/30/2017 09:51 PM »

There is no curvature of field in the design

I think a better statement would be "as far as practical, the focal plane has no curvature".  If you look at the graphs of lens performance (see TESS status, page 10) you will see that if you get best focus in the middle, best focus at 6o degrees off axis needs a 20 micron shift, then 40 microns at 12 o, then back to 20 microns at 16o.  This is pretty typical - best focus typically looks like a low order polynomial in distance from the center.   

The fundamental problem is that a flat focal surface is a very "unnatural" configuration.  Each surface, when varied, produces a smooth radial function of best focus.  But the function is different for every surface, so all you can do is get them to cancel approximately.  This also induces tough constraints on other surfaces as well.

To see how hard optical systems need to work to approximate a flat field is, consider this paper.  By allowing a curved focal plane, with otherwise the same specs, the reduce a design with 14 lenses, 2 aspheres, and 10 types of glass, to a design with 9 lenses, no aspheres, and 3 types of glass.

Or intuitively, how does your eye get such good results for a single lens made of jelly?  A lot of it is because your retina is a strongly curved focal surface.

Another example of flat image plane, but at very high cost, is the Baker/Schmidt design of LSST.

https://www.lsst.org/about/tel-site/optical_design

It is *really* hard to get a wide flat focal plane of large chunks of sky.

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Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 : TESS : March 2018 : GENERAL THREAD
« Reply #71 on: 07/31/2017 03:23 AM »

There is no curvature of field in the design

I think a better statement would be "as far as practical, the focal plane has no curvature".  If you look at the graphs of lens performance (see TESS status, page 10) you will see that if you get best focus in the middle, best focus at 6o degrees off axis needs a 20 micron shift, then 40 microns at 12 o, then back to 20 microns at 16o.  This is pretty typical - best focus typically looks like a low order polynomial in distance from the center.   

The fundamental problem is that a flat focal surface is a very "unnatural" configuration.  Each surface, when varied, produces a smooth radial function of best focus.  But the function is different for every surface, so all you can do is get them to cancel approximately.  This also induces tough constraints on other surfaces as well.

To see how hard optical systems need to work to approximate a flat field is, consider this paper.  By allowing a curved focal plane, with otherwise the same specs, the reduce a design with 14 lenses, 2 aspheres, and 10 types of glass, to a design with 9 lenses, no aspheres, and 3 types of glass.

Or intuitively, how does your eye get such good results for a single lens made of jelly?  A lot of it is because your retina is a strongly curved focal surface.

OK
There isn't just simple Petzval curvature of field.
As you said, it looks like a complex curve that swings backward.
And the second report did indeed say "crystallization" of the bond material.
But I repeat: Passive focus at very cold temperatures is hard, even for MIT.
Curved focal planes are even harder.
edit: Or you can approximate it like the Kepler photometer.
But we are wandering from TESS
« Last Edit: 07/31/2017 03:25 AM by Comga »
What kind of wastrels would dump a perfectly good booster in the ocean after just one use?

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Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 : TESS : March 2018 : GENERAL THREAD
« Reply #72 on: 08/05/2017 03:22 AM »
TESS Camera Mounting Timelapse

NASA.gov Video
Published on Aug 4, 2017


The four TESS cameras being mounted to the camera plate in preparation for integration to spacecraft at Orbital ATK in Dulles, Virginia.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SOj1PCtG2yk?t=001

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Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 : TESS : March 2018 : GENERAL THREAD
« Reply #73 on: 10/09/2017 07:10 AM »
Quote
After @NASA_TESS cameras were assembled, they were carefully covered with thermal blankets.

https://twitter.com/nasa_tess/status/917134063248576513

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SpaceX Falcon 9 : TESS : March 2018 : GENERAL THREAD
« Reply #74 on: 10/13/2017 11:37 AM »
Quote
Gerard van Belle @FringeDoctor
Ricker notes that the @NASA_TESS orbit is stable and could enable an extended mission for 20+ years.
Squee!

https://mobile.twitter.com/FringeDoctor/status/918627581389185024
« Last Edit: 10/13/2017 11:37 AM by Star One »

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Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 : TESS : March 2018 : GENERAL THREAD
« Reply #75 on: 10/13/2017 08:49 PM »
The latest NASA SMSR long-term schedule shows a launch date of March 18 now instead of March 20.

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Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 : TESS : March 2018 : GENERAL THREAD
« Reply #76 on: 10/15/2017 08:47 AM »
https://www.nasa.gov/launchschedule/
Quote
Date: June
Mission: TESS (Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite)

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Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 : TESS : March 2018 : GENERAL THREAD
« Reply #77 on: 10/15/2017 11:48 AM »
https://www.nasa.gov/launchschedule/
Quote
Date: June
Mission: TESS (Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite)
Hmm, it does say "no later than June 2018"...

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Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 : TESS : March 2018 : GENERAL THREAD
« Reply #78 on: 10/16/2017 07:24 AM »
As of Sept 25, I know the science team were still expecting a March launch ...

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Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 : TESS : March 2018 : GENERAL THREAD
« Reply #79 on: 10/17/2017 03:52 AM »
This is one of the launches that has a hard NLT date.  So, all that info is consistent.  They are still expecting to launch in March but it can't be launched later than June.

From the TESS mission operations page at GSFC

Quote
The current launch window is no-earlier-than March 20, 2018 and not-later-than June 2018.

With March 20th still listed as the planned launch date.
« Last Edit: 10/17/2017 06:49 AM by deruch »
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Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 : TESS : March 18, 2018 : GENERAL THREAD
« Reply #80 on: 10/18/2017 04:47 PM »
Quote
Tweet from Jeff Foust
Hertz: cut reserves for TESS as part of belt-tightening. Schedules reserves are tight, but believe they’ll stay on track for March 18 launch

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Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 : TESS : March 18, 2018 : GENERAL THREAD
« Reply #81 on: 10/25/2017 04:59 PM »
NASA trims reserves and shifts schedules to find astrophysics cost savings

Quote
“It required us to find $27 million in savings out of our total budget” from other astrophysics programs, Hertz said. Those cuts were incorporated into an operating plan for fiscal year 2017 approved in early September, less than a month before the end of the fiscal year.

The program affected the most is the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS), a mission to search for exoplanets that is nearing completion for launch next year. A $15 million cut came from deferring a launch payment to fiscal year 2018 and effectively eliminating the remaining budget reserves held at NASA Headquarters.

“There are no further headquarters-held reserves in TESS funding that the project has received to launch in March of 2018,” Hertz said. The progress the mission was making, with the spacecraft currently undergoing a series of tests, made him confident the mission could stick to that schedule.

“Their schedule reserves are tight, but they have schedule reserves and they can make it,” he said. Should TESS run into problems, he said, NASA would have to find cuts in other astrophysics programs to make up the difference, or not launch TESS at all.

http://spacenews.com/nasa-trims-reserves-and-shifts-schedules-to-find-astrophysics-cost-savings/

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Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 : TESS : March 18, 2018 : GENERAL THREAD
« Reply #82 on: 11/13/2017 06:17 PM »
Quote
The @NASA_TESS successfully completed vibration testing @OrbitalATK! Vibration testing shakes the satellite to the real conditions that TESS will face during launch. It is vital to test the satellite to be sure it will survive the ride into orbit! https://t.co/5BQXwRexPa

https://twitter.com/NASA_TESS/status/930150903348375557

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Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 : TESS : March 18, 2018 : GENERAL THREAD
« Reply #83 on: 11/13/2017 06:24 PM »
Quote
The @NASA_TESS successfully completed vibration testing @OrbitalATK! Vibration testing shakes the satellite to the real conditions that TESS will face during launch. It is vital to test the satellite to be sure it will survive the ride into orbit! https://t.co/5BQXwRexPa

https://twitter.com/NASA_TESS/status/930150903348375557

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Attaching image from tweet.

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Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 : TESS : March 18, 2018 : GENERAL THREAD
« Reply #84 on: 11/15/2017 09:37 AM »
Quote
@NASA_TESS Just conducting an MSPA (Mission Service Training activity) on #DSS24. This test validates ground systems using simulated TESS (Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite ) data. 125Mbit/s will be the DSN's fastest telemetry yet. Launch planned for next year.

https://twitter.com/nascom1/status/930640984794324992

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Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 : TESS : March 18, 2018 : GENERAL THREAD
« Reply #85 on: 11/15/2017 10:43 AM »
Quote
125Mbit/s will be the DSN's fastest telemetry yet.

Nice!

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Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 : TESS : March 18, 2018 : GENERAL THREAD
« Reply #86 on: 11/15/2017 07:12 PM »
Quote
125Mbit/s will be the DSN's fastest telemetry yet.

Nice!

Not fast.
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Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 : TESS : March 18, 2018 : GENERAL THREAD
« Reply #87 on: 11/16/2017 06:36 AM »
Quote
125Mbit/s will be the DSN's fastest telemetry yet.

Nice!

Not fast.
Context is the keyword here. It is fast for DSN.

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Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 : TESS : March 18, 2018 : GENERAL THREAD
« Reply #88 on: 11/16/2017 03:36 PM »
Quote
125Mbit/s will be the DSN's fastest telemetry yet.

Nice!

Not fast.
Context is the keyword here. It is fast for DSN.

Seriously.  In what way is this not fast.  Galileo was 10bps, New Horizons maybe 1000bps.  125Mbps is astounding.  That's faster than my cable modem!

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Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 : TESS : March 18, 2018 : GENERAL THREAD
« Reply #89 on: 11/16/2017 03:37 PM »
Quote
125Mbit/s will be the DSN's fastest telemetry yet.

Nice!

Not fast.
Historically, most space missions are X-band, and the total X-band bandwidth reserved for all near Earth missions combined is 50 MHz.  (See this Chart of Space Bands.)

So historically it is fast, and presumably is K band where the bandwidth is greater (as is Kepler, which was the previous record holder, I think...)

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Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 : TESS : March 18, 2018 : GENERAL THREAD
« Reply #90 on: 11/16/2017 03:51 PM »
So historically it is fast, and presumably is K band where the bandwidth is greater (as is Kepler, which was the previous record holder, I think...)

It's a Ka-transmitter from Space Micro

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Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 : TESS : March 18, 2018 : GENERAL THREAD
« Reply #91 on: 11/18/2017 01:16 PM »
Quote
Launching in 2018, @NASA's next exoplanet hunter @NASA_TESS will find thousands of new worlds around stars outside of our solar system. @MIT @NASAGoddard @TESSatMIT @OrbitalATK @MITLL https://t.co/E0TYHwJnQ7

https://twitter.com/NASA_TESS/status/931620883688550407

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Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 : TESS : March 18, 2018 : GENERAL THREAD
« Reply #92 on: 12/07/2017 11:19 PM »
Quote
Rep. Mo Brooks (R-Ala.) quizzed Zurbuchen about the status of TESS’ launch vehicle, the SpaceX Falcon 9. The Block 4 version of the rocket that will be used to launch TESS has yet to be certified by NASA for the mission, and Brooks asked if there were concerns that the rocket will not be certified in time.

“At this moment in time I don’t have any such concerns,” Zurbuchen said, anticipating the certification process would be completed by early 2018.

Block 4 for sure on TESS it would seem, found at the end of this article about JWST.

http://spacenews.com/independent-review-to-examine-jwst-launch-plans/

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Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 : TESS : March 18, 2018 : GENERAL THREAD
« Reply #93 on: 01/01/2018 06:21 AM »
Quote
Happy New Year! In 2017, @NASA_TESS  completed integration and testing. We successfully finished thermal  vacuum testing in December. In 2018, we look forward to shipping the  spacecraft to @NASAKennedy and then launch! https://t.co/UGHxWIZwFl

https://twitter.com/NASA_TESS/status/947566244135399425

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Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 : TESS : March 18, 2018 : GENERAL THREAD
« Reply #94 on: 01/09/2018 07:25 AM »
Quote
[email protected]_TESS successfully completed vibration and environmental testing that mirrors the conditions that the observatory will face at launch and in space. After testing was completed, the #TESS cameras were checked and successfully passed!

https://twitter.com/NASA_TESS/status/950520468523704320

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Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 : TESS : March 18, 2018 : GENERAL THREAD
« Reply #95 on: 01/09/2018 05:00 PM »
Tweet from Jeff Foust:
Quote
George Ricker of MIT, at a seminar at #AAS231, says the TESS spacecraft will ship from Orbital ATK to KSC in about a month, launch in March “according to the current plan” (no earlier than March 20)

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Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 : TESS : March 18, 2018 : GENERAL THREAD
« Reply #96 on: 01/10/2018 07:07 AM »
Useful preview of some of the data products

Quote
(Amazing [email protected] scientist) @mustaric detailing the types of TESS data that MAST will be hosting. #AAS231 https://t.co/EJC4g7aXGl

https://twitter.com/aussiastronomer/status/950899659354058756

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Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 : TESS : March 18, 2018 : GENERAL THREAD
« Reply #97 on: 01/23/2018 06:44 AM »
An update on the focus shift issue.

Quote
TESS has not been without its problems, though. NASA confirmed last July that engineers discovered that the focus in the four cameras on TESS would drift once the cameras cool to operating temperatures after launch. At the time, the agency said that it believed the issue would not be a major problem for the mission, although other astronomers expressed concern it could affect the spacecraft’s ability to detect exoplanets.

Additional testing and analysis since then has given those involved with the mission greater confidence that they understand the focus issue and that it won’t adversely affect the mission’s science.

“Subsequent testing that we did starting this summer and then into the fall indicated that there is a model” for explaining the focus change, Ricker said at a Jan. 9 briefing about the mission during the AAS conference. “This is a very reproducible crystallization effect for one of the materials used to manufacture the lenses.”

Ricker said the mission did four months of testing on a flight spare camera to understand long-term focus effects. Those tests show that the focus of the camera drifts for about one week, then stops. “There’s essentially no measurable change after that,” he said, calling the issue a one-time “focus shift” rather than a more continuous “focus drift.”

That focus shift, he said, won’t affect the ability of TESS to meet its primary, or “Level One,” science requirements, which call for eventually measuring the mass of at least 50 planets similar in size to the Earth. The mission’s primary focus on photometry — measuring very small changes in brightness of stars — also minimizes the importance of a sharp focus.

http://spacenews.com/a-changing-of-the-guard-in-nasas-hunt-for-exoplanets/

Launch & Landing FCC permits for TESS Just came out confirming March 20th launch date ..... And
It will be a drone ship landing but much closer than the usual landing site for GTO Sats (similar to FH's center core landing site)

https://apps.fcc.gov/oetcf/els/reports/STA_Print.cfm?mode=current&application_seq=82387&RequestTimeout=1000
https://apps.fcc.gov/oetcf/els/reports/STA_Print.cfm?mode=current&application_seq=82383&RequestTimeout=1000

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Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 : TESS : March 20, 2018 : GENERAL THREAD
« Reply #99 on: 01/25/2018 07:30 PM »
Launch & Landing FCC permits for TESS Just came out confirming March 20th launch date ..... And
It will be a drone ship landing but much closer than the usual landing site for GTO Sats (similar to FH's center core landing site)

https://apps.fcc.gov/oetcf/els/reports/STA_Print.cfm?mode=current&application_seq=82387&RequestTimeout=1000
https://apps.fcc.gov/oetcf/els/reports/STA_Print.cfm?mode=current&application_seq=82383&RequestTimeout=1000

And it's 39-A, I was wondering about that.

(As with all of these FCC permits, probably need the standard disclaimer that they don't actually name the payload.  Sure does look like it would be TESS.)

edit: will be interesting to see whether CRS-14 stays at SLC-40 now or switches back to 39-A.  Those TESS/Bangabandhu/CRS-14 dates wouldn't work any other way unless CRS-14 slips more.
« Last Edit: 01/25/2018 07:45 PM by gongora »

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Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 : TESS : March 20, 2018 : GENERAL THREAD
« Reply #100 on: 01/25/2018 08:27 PM »
FWIW, they are process in VIP requests now as well. Several folks on the science team I know are currently jumping through the requisite hoops.

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Launch & Landing FCC permits for TESS Just came out confirming March 20th launch date ..... And
It will be a drone ship landing but much closer than the usual landing site for GTO Sats (similar to FH's center core landing site)

https://apps.fcc.gov/oetcf/els/reports/STA_Print.cfm?mode=current&application_seq=82387&RequestTimeout=1000
https://apps.fcc.gov/oetcf/els/reports/STA_Print.cfm?mode=current&application_seq=82383&RequestTimeout=1000

And it's 39-A, I was wondering about that.

(As with all of these FCC permits, probably need the standard disclaimer that they don't actually name the payload.  Sure does look like it would be TESS.)

edit: will be interesting to see whether CRS-14 stays at SLC-40 now or switches back to 39-A.  Those TESS/Bangabandhu/CRS-14 dates wouldn't work any other way unless CRS-14 slips more.

I think I saw somewhere that most/all NASA payloads would launch from 39A once the manifest and pad schedules stop going crazy (AKA once FH-1 is done and 39A is able to launch F9 again), with an occasional commercial launch from 39A to reduce strain on 40.

I haven't seen anything new about this, not sure if they're still planning to follow that plan.
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Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 : TESS : March 20, 2018 : GENERAL THREAD
« Reply #102 on: 01/26/2018 08:41 PM »
Launch & Landing FCC permits for TESS Just came out confirming March 20th launch date ..... And
It will be a drone ship landing but much closer than the usual landing site for GTO Sats (similar to FH's center core landing site)

https://apps.fcc.gov/oetcf/els/reports/STA_Print.cfm?mode=current&application_seq=82387&RequestTimeout=1000
https://apps.fcc.gov/oetcf/els/reports/STA_Print.cfm?mode=current&application_seq=82383&RequestTimeout=1000

How are you reading these as being related to TESS?  They're not.

1. TESS was contracted by NASA's LSP as a NASA Launch Services mission.  Which means that the licensing authority isn't the FAA because this isn't a "commercial launch". 

2.  Because TESS is a LSP launch, SpaceX doesn't need an STA for radio emissions from the FCC.  They will get spectrum coverage direct from the NTIA via NASA.  Again, this is only possible for non-commercial launches. 

3.  TESS is light enough (less than 400kg) that I'll be surprised if it isn't a RTLS mission, even with it being launched to HEO. 

Also, only semi-related: "Operations Start Date" isn't the planned launch date.  It's when they can start doing the testing and pre-launch checkouts on the radio systems.  If you look back at other recent missions that kept a pretty firm launch date and check their STAs you'll see that they don't plan on launching the first day of the "operations period".   


EDIT: I refuse to totally discount the possibility, as government oversight and regulation can sometimes result in weird/ridiculous applications, but I suppose it's possible that they could be forced to get an STA for any recovery operations, as it's theoretically possible to consider that as being separate from the launch operations contracted by NASA.  But these STAs aren't that, as they clearly cover a commercial launch+recovery and include the 2nd stage.
« Last Edit: 01/26/2018 08:49 PM by deruch »
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Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 : TESS : March 20, 2018 : GENERAL THREAD
« Reply #103 on: 01/26/2018 09:06 PM »
Launch & Landing FCC permits for TESS Just came out confirming March 20th launch date ..... And
It will be a drone ship landing but much closer than the usual landing site for GTO Sats (similar to FH's center core landing site)

https://apps.fcc.gov/oetcf/els/reports/STA_Print.cfm?mode=current&application_seq=82387&RequestTimeout=1000
https://apps.fcc.gov/oetcf/els/reports/STA_Print.cfm?mode=current&application_seq=82383&RequestTimeout=1000

How are you reading these as being related to TESS?  They're not.

1. TESS was contracted by NASA's LSP as a NASA Launch Services mission.  Which means that the licensing authority isn't the FAA because this isn't a "commercial launch". 

2.  Because TESS is a LSP launch, SpaceX doesn't need an STA for radio emissions from the FCC.  They will get spectrum coverage direct from the NTIA via NASA.  Again, this is only possible for non-commercial launches. 

3.  TESS is light enough (less than 400kg) that I'll be surprised if it isn't a RTLS mission, even with it being launched to HEO. 

Also, only semi-related: "Operations Start Date" isn't the planned launch date.  It's when they can start doing the testing and pre-launch checkouts on the radio systems.  If you look back at other recent missions that kept a pretty firm launch date and check their STAs you'll see that they don't plan on launching the first day of the "operations period".   


EDIT: I refuse to totally discount the possibility, as government oversight and regulation can sometimes result in weird/ridiculous applications, but I suppose it's possible that they could be forced to get an STA for any recovery operations, as it's theoretically possible to consider that as being separate from the launch operations contracted by NASA.  But these STAs aren't that, as they clearly cover a commercial launch+recovery and include the 2nd stage.

They had these permits for DSCOVR, NROL-76, OTV-5

Offline Jim

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Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 : TESS : March 20, 2018 : GENERAL THREAD
« Reply #104 on: 01/26/2018 09:09 PM »
NROL-76 was a commercial launch

Offline deruch

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Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 : TESS : March 20, 2018 : GENERAL THREAD
« Reply #105 on: 01/26/2018 11:05 PM »
They had these permits for DSCOVR, NROL-76, OTV-5

No, I don't think they did. 

DSCOVR-  SpaceX initially applied for an STA for the launch (on 2014-12-11) but then pretty much immediately withdrew it (5 days later on 2014-12-16).  So, it was never granted.  As far as I can tell, they didn't ever reapply for another one for this mission.  I assume because they figured out they didn't need it as they were getting RF allocation through the USAF.  I chalk it up to it being their first time launching non-commercial after having had to apply for all previous launches.  But, note that in that superfluous application they do still specifically say, "Launch approval authority is 45th Space Wing, USAF."  So, in regards to TESS and the original docs we're discussing, something along those lines should definitely be in there if they were related. 

I guess I was right to set the bar low for regulatory hassles though, because it appears they did have to get an STA for the booster recovery effort.  Which specifically says,
Quote
Experimental ocean recovery operation downrange of Cape Canaveral, following DoD-authorized launch. This STA request is limited to the TC uplink, transmitting from the commercial boat/barge. The link will also be checked-out prior to launch, at Complex 40, Cape Canaveral AFS. Launch vehicle flight communications for this mission are covered by a separate RFA.


NROL-76- As Jim already pointed out, from SpaceX's POV, NROL-76 was a commercial launch contracted by Ball Aerospace who had a deliver on-orbit deal with the NRO.  So, that's why it had an FAA launch license (even though it was never publicly released).  And why it needed the STA for RF from the FCC.  No surprises. 


OTV-5- I've looked but haven't seen any mention of STAs for this launch in any of the threads here (update, discussion, & general manifest).  Nor have I been able to find one by using the FCC's search.  If you have a link to one though, I'd be interested in reading it.  I bet it will say that USAF was the launch authority.
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Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 : TESS : March 20, 2018 : GENERAL THREAD
« Reply #106 on: 01/27/2018 01:58 AM »
Here is the one for OTV-5, it says nothing about the AF.  Was this also a "commercial" launch?  They don't seem very consistent about these government launches.

https://apps.fcc.gov/oetcf/els/reports/STA_Print.cfm?mode=current&application_seq=78749&RequestTimeout=1000
« Last Edit: 01/27/2018 01:59 AM by gongora »

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Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 : TESS : March 20, 2018 : GENERAL THREAD
« Reply #107 on: 01/27/2018 02:23 AM »
I understand why SpaceX shouldn't need an FCC launch permit for this flight, but it makes no sense to me that anything else would launch from 39A around the date TESS is supposed to launch.

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Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 : TESS : March 20, 2018 : GENERAL THREAD
« Reply #108 on: 01/27/2018 03:47 AM »
I understand why SpaceX shouldn't need an FCC launch permit for this flight, but it makes no sense to me that anything else would launch from 39A around the date TESS is supposed to launch.

Bangabandhu-1?  So TESS would launch from SLC-40 and those would be for Bangabandhu-1.  Which I think fits them better all around.  It's definitely commercial, GTO but on the lighter side so will use ASDS (and be able to adjust landing location in closer than previous GTO launches), currently planned to launch within a week or 2 from the start of operations date in the application.  Seems perfect unless you're totally wedded to TESS having to launch from LC-39A.  I get the argument for that, I just don't find it especially persuasive. 

Thanks for the other link.  Interesting.  Except for the fact that there doesn't really look like another mission it could fit, I wouldn't have paired that STA with OTV-5.  Now I'm really curious about the Air Force's contract with SpaceX for that launch.  So much so I may file a FOIA with them and the FAA to see if I'll get anything back. 
Shouldn't reality posts be in "Advanced concepts"?  --Nomadd

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I’ll be flying to the Cape for this launch with my mom in tow. Wondering how firm the March 20 date is. Be interesting to see if it’s from 39A or SLC-40 as that may impact where I watch this from. Hoping there’s an RTLS landing and not the barge landing noted earlier for this launch.
I'll even excitedly look forward to "flags and footprints" and suborbital missions. Just fly...somewhere.

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Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 : TESS : March 20, 2018 : GENERAL THREAD
« Reply #110 on: 02/08/2018 07:46 PM »
TESS has been fully integrated and is now ready to be shipped to the launch site. Bodes well for a launch in late March.

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Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 : TESS : March 20, 2018 : GENERAL THREAD
« Reply #111 on: 02/08/2018 07:50 PM »
Further confirmation of the above from their twitter:

Quote
We are getting ready to ship @NASA_TESS to @NASAKennedy for launch! #TESS https://t.co/NS57SlCgpo

https://twitter.com/NASA_TESS/status/961680041271877632

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Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 : TESS : March 20, 2018 : GENERAL THREAD
« Reply #112 on: 02/08/2018 07:53 PM »
Will likely visit KSC on March 20th. When will we know for certain if it's 39A or SLC-40? Only reason is the bus tour. I would skip if it 39A is off-limits on that day.

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Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 : TESS : March 20, 2018 : GENERAL THREAD
« Reply #113 on: 02/08/2018 08:01 PM »
Not launch related, but here's a nice visualisation of how the various datasets relate to each other:

Quote
Okay back to our regularly scheduled programming, which today means wrapping our brains around where the [email protected]_TESS/@TESSatMIT planets will come from. Solange Ramirez's attempt to diagram it out is breaking my brain. Anything we left out, @sleeplessinmit, @mrtommyb? https://t.co/ChO6RhqGNX

https://twitter.com/aussiastronomer/status/961309706298912768

Where:
* TIC is the input catalogue
* CTL is the consolidated target list (some will get 2 minute cadence light curves)
* Targets is anything with a light curve (+ 30 minute cadence from the FFIs)
* TOI is TESS object of interest
« Last Edit: 02/08/2018 08:17 PM by jebbo »

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Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 : TESS : March 20, 2018 : GENERAL THREAD
« Reply #114 on: 02/08/2018 09:01 PM »
Will likely visit KSC on March 20th. When will we know for certain if it's 39A or SLC-40? Only reason is the bus tour. I would skip if it 39A is off-limits on that day.

SLC-40, almost without a doubt. I don't think 39A is going to be used for anything other than Crew and Heavy launches for the foreseeable future, unless cadence requirements explode.
« Last Edit: 02/08/2018 10:03 PM by vaporcobra »
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Offline JonathanD

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Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 : TESS : March 20, 2018 : GENERAL THREAD
« Reply #115 on: 02/08/2018 09:05 PM »
unless cadence requirements explode.

Or SLC-40 does.  Knock on wood.

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Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 : TESS : March 20, 2018 : GENERAL THREAD
« Reply #116 on: 02/08/2018 09:07 PM »
Will likely visit KSC on March 20th. When will we know for certain if it's 39A or SLC-40? Only reason is the bus tour. I would skip if it 39A is off-limits on that day.

SLC-40, almost without a doubt. I don't think 39A is going to be used for anything other than Crew and Heavy launches for the foreseeable future, unless cadence requirements explode.

Honestly... I expect TESS to fly from 39A... I guess we let the clock run and see what happens...  ;)

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Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 : TESS : March 20, 2018 : GENERAL THREAD
« Reply #117 on: 02/08/2018 09:07 PM »
Will likely visit KSC on March 20th. When will we know for certain if it's 39A or SLC-40? Only reason is the bus tour. I would skip if it 39A is off-limits on that day.

I would expect it will launch from 39A given that it is a NASA launch and Bangabandu looks to be scheduled for late March from 40.

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Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 : TESS : March 20, 2018 : GENERAL THREAD
« Reply #118 on: 02/08/2018 09:50 PM »
Will likely visit KSC on March 20th. When will we know for certain if it's 39A or SLC-40? Only reason is the bus tour. I would skip if it 39A is off-limits on that day.

SLC-40, almost without a doubt. I don't think 39A is going to be used for anything other than Crew and Heavy launches for the foreseeable future, unless cadence requirements explode.

There is a F9 scheduled for LC-39A at that time.

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Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 : TESS : March 20, 2018 : GENERAL THREAD
« Reply #119 on: 02/08/2018 10:04 PM »
Will likely visit KSC on March 20th. When will we know for certain if it's 39A or SLC-40? Only reason is the bus tour. I would skip if it 39A is off-limits on that day.

SLC-40, almost without a doubt. I don't think 39A is going to be used for anything other than Crew and Heavy launches for the foreseeable future, unless cadence requirements explode.

There is a F9 scheduled for LC-39A at that time.

Derp. The very FCC launch licenses I'd posted in the Manifest thread mention 39A and KSC, so you are definitely correct. Almost certainly TESS.
« Last Edit: 02/08/2018 10:06 PM by vaporcobra »
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Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 : TESS : March 20, 2018 : GENERAL THREAD
« Reply #120 on: 02/09/2018 01:25 AM »
Thanks, all. Sounds like no bus tour, then. I’ll keep my eye out on the Visitors Center website for launch viewing opportunities. My son will love it if I can actually make it happen.

Any ideas on the window for TESS?

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Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 : TESS : March 20, 2018 : GENERAL THREAD
« Reply #121 on: 02/09/2018 02:52 AM »
Thanks, all. Sounds like no bus tour, then. I’ll keep my eye out on the Visitors Center website for launch viewing opportunities. My son will love it if I can actually make it happen.

Any ideas on the window for TESS?

Apparently at some point I saw 8:00 pm, but I can't remember where or if that was for this launch date.

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Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 : TESS : March 20, 2018 : GENERAL THREAD
« Reply #122 on: 02/10/2018 03:08 PM »
SpaceflightNow is showing 7:58pm EDT.

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Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 : TESS : March 20, 2018 : GENERAL THREAD
« Reply #123 on: 02/15/2018 07:04 AM »
https://twitter.com/nextspaceflight/status/963882459946520577

Quote
NASA's budget states that the #Falcon9 Full Thrust received Category 2 certification in January 2018. Category 2 certification allows Falcon 9 to launch medium risk NASA payloads. This certification is needed for the #SpaceX @NASA_TESS launch, which is currently NET March 20th.
You want to be inspired by things. You want to wake up in the morning and think the future is going to be great. That's what being a spacefaring civilization is all about. It's about believing in the future and believing the future will be better than the past. And I can't think of anything more exciting than being out there among the stars.

Offline jacqmans

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Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 : TESS : March 20, 2018 : GENERAL THREAD
« Reply #124 on: 02/15/2018 10:06 AM »
February 14, 2018
MEDIA ADVISORY M02-18

NASA Invites Media to View TESS Spacecraft

Media are invited to view the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) on Tuesday, Feb. 20, at the Payload Hazardous Servicing Facility (PHSF) at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

TESS is the next step in the search for planets outside of the solar system orbiting other nearby, bright stars. The mission will find these planets (e.g., "exoplanets") that periodically block part of the light from stars while transiting across the star. The media event is an opportunity to photograph the spacecraft and interview project and program team members.

This event is open only to U.S. citizens who possess a government-issued photo identification, such as a driver's license, and proof of U.S. citizenship, such as a passport or birth certificate. Two forms of government-issued identification are required, including one with a photograph, such as a driver’s license and passport.

To apply for media credentials, go to https://media.ksc.nasa.gov. Media interested in attending this event must also RSVP via email at [email protected] The deadline for submitting credentials and to RSVP is no later than noon on Friday, Feb. 16.

Due to space restrictions, only two representatives from each media organization will be allowed to participate, and no more than 30 participants may sign up for the viewing opportunity.

As details for this event are finalized, more information will be provided about access to the PHSF, along with arrival and event times to registered media.

TESS is targeted to launch this spring on a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket from Space Launch Complex 40 on Cape Canaveral Air Force (CCAFS) Station in Florida.

TESS is a NASA Astrophysics Explorer mission led and operated by MIT in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and managed by NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland. Dr. George Ricker of MIT’s Kavli Institute for Astrophysics and Space Research serves as principal investigator for the mission. Additional partners include Orbital ATK, NASA’s Ames Research Center, the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics and the Space Telescope Science Institute. More than a dozen universities, research institutes and observatories worldwide are participants in the mission. NASA’s Launch Services Program is responsible for launch management. SpaceX of Hawthorne, California, is the provider of the Falcon 9 launch service.

Offline Hankelow8

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Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 : TESS : March 20, 2018 : GENERAL THREAD
« Reply #125 on: 02/15/2018 10:54 AM »
February 14, 2018
MEDIA ADVISORY M02-18

NASA Invites Media to View TESS Spacecraft

Media are invited to view the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) on Tuesday, Feb. 20, at the Payload Hazardous Servicing Facility (PHSF) at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

TESS is the next step in the search for planets outside of the solar system orbiting other nearby, bright stars. The mission will find these planets (e.g., "exoplanets") that periodically block part of the light from stars while transiting across the star. The media event is an opportunity to photograph the spacecraft and interview project and program team members.

This event is open only to U.S. citizens who possess a government-issued photo identification, such as a driver's license, and proof of U.S. citizenship, such as a passport or birth certificate. Two forms of government-issued identification are required, including one with a photograph, such as a driver’s license and passport.

To apply for media credentials, go to https://media.ksc.nasa.gov. Media interested in attending this event must also RSVP via email at [email protected] The deadline for submitting credentials and to RSVP is no later than noon on Friday, Feb. 16.

Due to space restrictions, only two representatives from each media organization will be allowed to participate, and no more than 30 participants may sign up for the viewing opportunity.

As details for this event are finalized, more information will be provided about access to the PHSF, along with arrival and event times to registered media.

TESS is targeted to launch this spring on a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket from Space Launch Complex 40 on Cape Canaveral Air Force (CCAFS) Station in Florida.

TESS is a NASA Astrophysics Explorer mission led and operated by MIT in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and managed by NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland. Dr. George Ricker of MIT’s Kavli Institute for Astrophysics and Space Research serves as principal investigator for the mission. Additional partners include Orbital ATK, NASA’s Ames Research Center, the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics and the Space Telescope Science Institute. More than a dozen universities, research institutes and observatories worldwide are participants in the mission. NASA’s Launch Services Program is responsible for launch management. SpaceX of Hawthorne, California, is the provider of the Falcon 9 launch service.


How the world has changed, only allowing US media to view Tess spacecraft.

I remember back in the Apollo days I had a press pass for my car and could drive around unhindered apart from all pads which were active even when I was not a US citizen.
« Last Edit: 02/17/2018 04:41 PM by Lar »

Offline Elthiryel

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Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 : TESS : March 20, 2018 : GENERAL THREAD
« Reply #126 on: 02/15/2018 11:28 AM »
It clearly states that TESS is going to launch from SLC-40, not LC-39A (as it was presumed).
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Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 : TESS : March 20, 2018 : GENERAL THREAD
« Reply #127 on: 02/15/2018 01:32 PM »
It clearly states that TESS is going to launch from SLC-40, not LC-39A (as it was presumed).
And AIUI the "US citizens only" restriction is typical for launches from SLC-40, since Cape Canaveral is an active Air Force base. Launches from LC-39A are a little less restricted.

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Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 : TESS : March 20, 2018 : GENERAL THREAD
« Reply #128 on: 02/15/2018 02:58 PM »
It clearly states that TESS is going to launch from SLC-40, not LC-39A (as it was presumed).
And AIUI the "US citizens only" restriction is typical for launches from SLC-40, since Cape Canaveral is an active Air Force base. Launches from LC-39A are a little less restricted.

The restrictions are for the spacecraft viewing event, not the launch.  I'm sticking with LC-39A for the launch site until I see something a little more definitive than that press invitation.
« Last Edit: 02/15/2018 02:58 PM by gongora »

Offline gongora

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Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 : TESS : March 20, 2018 : GENERAL THREAD
« Reply #129 on: 02/15/2018 03:08 PM »
Ok, I saw something a little more definitive.  Apparently it switched from 39A to 40.

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Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 : TESS : March 20, 2018 : GENERAL THREAD
« Reply #130 on: 02/15/2018 03:29 PM »
How the world has changed, only allowing US media to view Tess spacecraft.

I remember back in the Apollo days I had a press pass for my car and could drive around unhindered apart from all pads which were active even when I was not a US citizen.

And AIUI the "US citizens only" restriction is typical for launches from SLC-40, since Cape Canaveral is an active Air Force base. Launches from LC-39A are a little less restricted.

I assume the restriction against non US-citizen members of the media is only due to the short time limits.  There are only 6 days between when they sent the invite to the event (February 14th --> 20th).  To accommodate foreign nationals, they require more time to run all the backgrounds and be able to coordinate with the facilities to ensure no ITAR violations, etc.  Usually for these type events where foreign nationals are allowed, they are required to submit their documentation ~10 days prior to the event.
« Last Edit: 02/15/2018 04:14 PM by deruch »
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Offline gongora

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Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 : TESS : March 20, 2018 : GENERAL THREAD
« Reply #131 on: 02/15/2018 03:45 PM »
According to NASA website TESS is now NET 2018-04-16.

Quote
The mission is scheduled to launch no earlier than April 16, 2018, and no later than June 2018.

https://www.nasa.gov/content/about-tess

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Any reason why TESS slipped? Good thing I haven’t bought launch tickets yet. (The slip actually makes my trip work out better from a PTO standpoint so I’m not too bummed).
I'll even excitedly look forward to "flags and footprints" and suborbital missions. Just fly...somewhere.

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Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 : TESS : NET April 16, 2018 : GENERAL THREAD
« Reply #133 on: 02/15/2018 07:48 PM »
Any reason why TESS slipped? Good thing I haven’t bought launch tickets yet. (The slip actually makes my trip work out better from a PTO standpoint so I’m not too bummed).

With major science payloads, I'd estimate a 90% chance that it was related to the spacecraft. Probably just slight delays in final integration, testing, shipment, etc.
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Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 : TESS : NET April 16, 2018 : GENERAL THREAD
« Reply #134 on: 02/15/2018 08:18 PM »
Quote
NASA reports F9 launch of TESS planet-hunting mission has slipped from March 20 to NET April 16. SpaceX requested more time for hardware readiness and to meet NASA launch service mission requirements.

https://twitter.com/flatoday_jdean/status/964245886464380929

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Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 : TESS : NET April 16, 2018 : GENERAL THREAD
« Reply #135 on: 02/15/2018 09:28 PM »
Quote
NASA reports F9 launch of TESS planet-hunting mission has slipped from March 20 to NET April 16. SpaceX requested more time for hardware readiness and to meet NASA launch service mission requirements.

https://twitter.com/flatoday_jdean/status/964245886464380929
[fake discussion]
NASA Commercial crew: Hey SpaceX, can you make some changes to your rocket for commercial crew please?
SpaceX: Yeah sure.
NASA TESS: Those changes could be unsafe, we don't want to be the fly until the rocket is proven safe.
Spacex: ....?
[/fake discussion]
Launches attended: Worldview-4 (Atlas V 401), Iridium NEXT Flight 1 (Falcon 9 FT)

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Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 : TESS : NET April 16, 2018 : GENERAL THREAD
« Reply #136 on: 02/15/2018 10:02 PM »
The commercial crew changes are on block 5, TESS is using block 4.

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Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 : TESS : NET April 16, 2018 : GENERAL THREAD
« Reply #137 on: 02/15/2018 10:47 PM »
The commercial crew changes are on block 5, TESS is using block 4.

Thanks for that confirmation, mind you I thought that was fairly well known. But obviously not judging by the post above yours.

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Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 : TESS : NET April 16, 2018 : GENERAL THREAD
« Reply #138 on: 02/15/2018 10:52 PM »
The commercial crew changes are on block 5, TESS is using block 4.

Didn't LSP request to remain on the older version? Just like Jason 3 was the last v1.1 instead of the already flying v1.2?

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Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 : TESS : NET April 16, 2018 : GENERAL THREAD
« Reply #139 on: 02/16/2018 08:30 AM »
The commercial crew changes are on block 5, TESS is using block 4.
Emphasis mine.

That is partially incorrect. The changes required by NASA were more than just the re-designed turbopump and COPV 2.0. Vehicle health monitoring was another one and SpaceX has begun implementing the changes for this as early as Block 3, in conjunction with the run-up to the introduction of AFTS on Block 4. Same goes for certain aspects of vehicle software.

Offline jebbo

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Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 : TESS : NET April 16, 2018 : GENERAL THREAD
« Reply #140 on: 02/16/2018 09:28 AM »
The TESS simulated data products have now been released.

Key quote:
Quote
Though the simulation was aimed at producing the most realistic synthetic science data from the standpoint of generating the pixel data, it relies on several assumptions and simplifications that may not reflect actual mission operations and instrumental and spacecraft behavior conditions. In addition, the simulation was geared towards verifying that the ground system software met its formal requirements, and therefore some aspects of the data are not realistic.

See http://archive.stsci.edu/tess/ete-6.html for details.

I'm now frantically updating my tools to cope, as the format is subtly different to Kepler, and this has pointed out flaws in my internal representation :-)

--- Tony

Offline jacqmans

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Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 : TESS : NET April 16, 2018 : GENERAL THREAD
« Reply #141 on: 02/16/2018 12:23 PM »
In the Payload Hazardous Servicing Facility at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida, the agency's Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite, or TESS, has been uncreated from its shipping container for inspections and preflight processing. The satellite is NASA's next step in the search for planets outside of the solar system also known as "exoplanets." TESS is a NASA Astrophysics Explorer mission led and operated by MIT in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and managed by NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland. Dr. George Ricker of MIT’s Kavli Institute for Astrophysics and Space Research serves as principal investigator for the mission. Additional partners include Orbital ATK, NASA’s Ames Research Center, and the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics and the Space Telescope Science Institute. More than a dozen universities, research institutes and observatories worldwide are participants in the mission. NASA’s Launch Services Program is responsible for launch management. SpaceX of Hawthorne, California, is the provider of the Falcon 9 launch service. TESS is scheduled to launch atop a Falcon 9 rocket no earlier than April 16, 2018 from Space Launch Complex 41 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station.

Photo credit: NASA/Kim Shiflett

Online FutureSpaceTourist

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Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 : TESS : NET April 16, 2018 : GENERAL THREAD
« Reply #142 on: 02/17/2018 03:26 PM »
https://twitter.com/nextspaceflight/status/963882459946520577

Quote
NASA's budget states that the #Falcon9 Full Thrust received Category 2 certification in January 2018. Category 2 certification allows Falcon 9 to launch medium risk NASA payloads. This certification is needed for the #SpaceX @NASA_TESS launch, which is currently NET March 20th.

Here’s Jeff Foust’s write-up:

Quote
NASA certifies Falcon 9 for science missions
by Jeff Foust — February 16, 2018

WASHINGTON — NASA has certified the current version of the SpaceX Falcon 9 to launch some categories of science missions, a milestone needed for the upcoming, but delayed, launch of an astronomy spacecraft.

NASA disclosed the certification in its full fiscal year 2019 budget proposal, released Feb. 14, in a section about NASA’s Launch Services Program (LSP). “In January 2018, SpaceX successfully completed ‘Category 2’ certification of the SpaceX Falcon 9 ‘Full Thrust’ with LSP which supports the launch of the NASA Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) mission in March 2018,” it stated.

http://spacenews.com/nasa-certifies-falcon-9-for-science-missions/
« Last Edit: 02/17/2018 03:29 PM by FutureSpaceTourist »

Offline JBF

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Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 : TESS : NET April 16, 2018 : GENERAL THREAD
« Reply #143 on: 02/17/2018 03:56 PM »
Is FT just for block 4 or will it carry over to block 5?
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Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 : TESS : NET April 16, 2018 : GENERAL THREAD
« Reply #144 on: 02/17/2018 07:35 PM »
Is FT just for block 4 or will it carry over to block 5?

They'll need to do some additional certification on the new Block design, but their next LSP flight isn't for a couple years so that shouldn't be a problem.

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Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 : TESS : NET April 16, 2018 : GENERAL THREAD
« Reply #145 on: 02/17/2018 09:04 PM »
Is FT just for block 4 or will it carry over to block 5?

They'll need to do some additional certification on the new Block design, but their next LSP flight isn't for a couple years so that shouldn't be a problem.
Wouldn't they automatically get Category 3 certification once they get Block 5 certified for humans?

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Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 : TESS : NET April 16, 2018 : GENERAL THREAD
« Reply #146 on: 02/17/2018 09:08 PM »
Is FT just for block 4 or will it carry over to block 5?

They'll need to do some additional certification on the new Block design, but their next LSP flight isn't for a couple years so that shouldn't be a problem.
Wouldn't they automatically get Category 3 certification once they get Block 5 certified for humans?

I think those are different organizations within NASA certifying them for different purposes?  LSP is consulting on the Commercial Crew certification but isn't the human rating certification done within HEOMD?

Offline scr00chy

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Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 : TESS : NET April 16, 2018 : GENERAL THREAD
« Reply #147 on: 02/17/2018 11:22 PM »
Is FT just for block 4 or will it carry over to block 5?

They'll need to do some additional certification on the new Block design, but their next LSP flight isn't for a couple years so that shouldn't be a problem.
Wouldn't they automatically get Category 3 certification once they get Block 5 certified for humans?

I think those are different organizations within NASA certifying them for different purposes?  LSP is consulting on the Commercial Crew certification but isn't the human rating certification done within HEOMD?
I have no idea. It just seems to me that F9 being human rated should be enough to whomever is in charge of the Cat 3 certification, and SpaceX shouldn't need to go through the whole process with them in order to get Cat 3 certified. But who knows how all this works.

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Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 : TESS : NET April 16, 2018 : GENERAL THREAD
« Reply #148 on: 02/18/2018 02:32 PM »
I think those are different organizations within NASA certifying them for different purposes?  LSP is consulting on the Commercial Crew certification but isn't the human rating certification done within HEOMD?
I have no idea. It just seems to me that F9 being human rated should be enough to whomever is in charge of the Cat 3 certification, and SpaceX shouldn't need to go through the whole process with them in order to get Cat 3 certified. But who knows how all this works.
Never attribute to inefficiency what can be adequately explained by bureaucracy.
« Last Edit: 02/18/2018 02:32 PM by woods170 »

Offline joek

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Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 : TESS : NET April 16, 2018 : GENERAL THREAD
« Reply #149 on: 02/18/2018 02:58 PM »
Wouldn't they automatically get Category 3 certification once they get Block 5 certified for humans?

For the LV likely.  However, there is more to certification than the LV.  There are likely to be processes which are specific to human certification and which not be easily applicable to other types of payloads.

For example, minimizing LOC (loss of crew) is #1 priority over LOM (loss of mission) for human payloads; LOC does not apply to non-human payloads, where LOM is #1 priority.  The intersection of those and how one might apply to the other is unclear.

In short, "automatically get Category 3 certification" may be a stretch, but certainly some of the work on human certification should be applicable.

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Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 : TESS : NET April 16, 2018 : GENERAL THREAD
« Reply #150 on: 02/18/2018 06:32 PM »
I think those are different organizations within NASA certifying them for different purposes?  LSP is consulting on the Commercial Crew certification but isn't the human rating certification done within HEOMD?
I have no idea. It just seems to me that F9 being human rated should be enough to whomever is in charge of the Cat 3 certification, and SpaceX shouldn't need to go through the whole process with them in order to get Cat 3 certified. But who knows how all this works.
Never attribute to inefficiency what can be adequately explained by bureaucracy.

No sometimes it just is inefficiency. Some people are a little to quick to blame bureaucracy for other issues, and that in my experience usually tells you more about their personal beliefs than anything else.

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Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 : TESS : NET April 16, 2018 : GENERAL THREAD
« Reply #151 on: 02/18/2018 08:22 PM »
Never attribute to inefficiency what can be adequately explained by bureaucracy.

No sometimes it just is inefficiency. Some people are a little to quick to blame bureaucracy for other issues, and that in my experience usually tells you more about their personal beliefs than anything else.

Take it from someone who has spent a considerable portion of the last 12 months studying US spaceflight history - NASA's bureaucracy is absolutely unparalleled for a public agency (the DoD is at least as bad, if not worse, but the military-industrial complex is a whole different animal). It would be a truly a titanic feat to underestimate the sheer level of chaos, redundancy, intra-agency competition, and baffling bureaucracy within NASA.

I've often been labeled cynical, and I was still floored by what I read in the primary and secondary source literature on NASA's organization...
« Last Edit: 02/18/2018 08:23 PM by vaporcobra »
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Offline woods170

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Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 : TESS : NET April 16, 2018 : GENERAL THREAD
« Reply #152 on: 02/19/2018 07:25 AM »
Never attribute to inefficiency what can be adequately explained by bureaucracy.

No sometimes it just is inefficiency. Some people are a little to quick to blame bureaucracy for other issues, and that in my experience usually tells you more about their personal beliefs than anything else.

Take it from someone who has spent a considerable portion of the last 12 months studying US spaceflight history - NASA's bureaucracy is absolutely unparalleled for a public agency (the DoD is at least as bad, if not worse, but the military-industrial complex is a whole different animal). It would be a truly a titanic feat to underestimate the sheer level of chaos, redundancy, intra-agency competition, and baffling bureaucracy within NASA.

I've often been labeled cynical, and I was still floored by what I read in the primary and secondary source literature on NASA's organization...

All too familiar. From what I've heard from multiple industry sources, over the years, the bureaucracy at NASA is very bad indeed. And that isn't a recent development. It was already so in the late 1970's.

Here is an example from that period:
NASA contracted with the Dutch space agency NIVR to build the IRAS satellite. The NASA part of the job was assigned by NASA HQ to Ames Research Center. Ames subsequently contracted JPL and JPL subsequently contracted Ball Aerospace to do all the actual work, including DDT&E. The latter subsequently sub-contracted Perkin-Elmer for the telescope instrument.

So, every time a major decision had to be taken regarding the telescope instrument it went from Perkin to Ball to JPL to Ames to NASA HQ. When a decision had been reached by NASA and NIVR it went back to Perkin via NASA HQ, Ames, JPL and Ball.
Needless to say, this made for a very inefficient way of getting things done. The only three things that saved the entire NASA-side of the project from grinding to a halt were:

1. Nancy Roman and Nancy Bogess relentlessly pushing the NASA bureaucracy forward to keep some sort of momentum.
2. Project technologists Jim Houck and Frank Low bending all the NASA acquisition rules by buying superior material for Ge:Ga IR sensors for just $20 from Eagle Pitcher and paying for it out of their own wallets.
3. The fact that the contract between NASA and NIVR wasn't actually a contract but a MOU: a Memorandum Of Understanding. Which is far less restrictive in what is allowed and what isn't.

Nevertheless, the result of this bureaucratic mess, as well as how this same bureaucratic mess dealt with cryogenic development trouble, was IRAS launching three years late and the US contribution to IRAS going over budget by 200 percent.

Now, compare this to the Dutch part of IRAS. NIVR contracted directly to ICIRAS (Industrial Consortium IRAS) which did all the work (DDT&E).
The result was that the Dutch contribution was ready literally years before the US contribution was ready. The Dutch contribution also stayed well within the allocated budget. Approx. 10 percent of the budget was returned by ICANS to NIVR because it wasn't needed.


But I digress.
« Last Edit: 02/19/2018 11:23 AM by woods170 »

Offline jebbo

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Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 : TESS : NET April 16, 2018 : GENERAL THREAD
« Reply #153 on: 02/19/2018 09:07 AM »
Very interesting, and while I agree - this has long been my bugbear with NASA - it is not really TESS related

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Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 : TESS : NET April 16, 2018 : GENERAL THREAD
« Reply #154 on: 02/19/2018 05:44 PM »
Very interesting, and while I agree - this has long been my bugbear with NASA - it is not really TESS related

I had to sleep, but I was going to try to tie it back in, get us back on track ;D The point of this history segue is that being certified by LSP to launch science payloads almost certainly means NOTHING to those boards tasked with certifying for crewed launches, and that is almost entirely an irrational result of nonsensically redundant bureaucracy, duplicative and competitive field centers, and a headquarters that is about as in touch with reality as Deepak Chopra.

Now, back to the scheduled program ;D
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Online Roy_H

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Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 : TESS : March 2018 : GENERAL THREAD
« Reply #155 on: 02/19/2018 07:46 PM »
NASA’s TESS Mission Will Provide Exciting Exoplanet Targets for Years to Come
...
Exoplanets aren’t the only science that will come out of the TESS all-sky survey, however. While scientists expect to spot a transit signal that could reveal exoplanets around only about one out of 100 stars, virtually every star in the sky will be monitored carefully and continuously for at least 27 days, resulting in a wide variety of variability to be explored.
...
Related Links

NASA's TESS website
TESS project website
By Elaine Hunt
NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Md.

Last Updated: Oct. 5, 2016
Editor: Rob Garner

27 days? Doesn't this have to observe a star for 2 years to expect to catch at least one transit of an inner planet?
"If we don't achieve re-usability, I will consider SpaceX to be a failure." - Elon Musk

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Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 : TESS : March 2018 : GENERAL THREAD
« Reply #156 on: 02/19/2018 07:59 PM »
27 days? Doesn't this have to observe a star for 2 years to expect to catch at least one transit of an inner planet?

'No'.
It will detect a fraction of planets - naively for earthlike orbit planets about a twelfth, on one pass - though there are areas of the sky it will stare at for one year at a time (the poles).
It will detect all planets with orbits under 27 days multiple times.
In the zones of more continuous observation, it will detect all planets with periods up to about a year.

If the mission is approved and works for another two year survey of the same design, then you have about the same chance of detecting slower transiting planets you only caught once transiting again.
It would take about twenty years or more of observation to get to most planets with earth-like orbits with two transits so you can make a stab at their orbit.

However, there are many, many other instruments out there with synergies with TESS that may help complete the survey and followup on observations.

Observation pattern shown at:

« Last Edit: 02/19/2018 08:00 PM by speedevil »

Offline jebbo

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Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 : TESS : March 2018 : GENERAL THREAD
« Reply #157 on: 02/20/2018 08:32 AM »
27 days? Doesn't this have to observe a star for 2 years to expect to catch at least one transit of an inner planet?

No. For M dwarfs, the periods are often very short.  For example, TRAPPIST-1 has 7 planets with periods between 1.5 days and 18.8 days ... and some of these are in the "habitable zone" (all that really means is they could have liquid water)

For G & K dwarfs the period to be in the HZ is obviously longer, but we can play a numbers game - by looking at LOTS of stars, we'll see a few transits which can be followed up from the ground - which is the big advantage TESS has over Kepler.  It is deliberately designed to look at brighter stars which can be followed up, whereas Kepler was a population study to determine the frequency of planets.

Expect me to get excited as we start to get results  :D

Edit: weird! Didn't see the above post before I write my reply ... oh well  ;D

--- Tony
« Last Edit: 02/20/2018 08:34 AM by jebbo »

Offline Greg Hullender

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Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 : TESS : NET April 16, 2018 : GENERAL THREAD
« Reply #158 on: 02/20/2018 04:42 PM »
Does anyone know if TESS is precise enough to measure the difference between "full transit" time (second contact to third contact) and "partial transit" time (first contact to fourth contact)? If it is, then it's possible to estimate the orbital period based on a single transit, assuming the mass and radius of the star are known. Even if that estimate is crude, it could be very helpful when observing subsequent transits if you want to know whether you missed any.

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Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 : TESS : NET April 16, 2018 : GENERAL THREAD
« Reply #159 on: 02/20/2018 04:53 PM »
Does anyone know if TESS is precise enough to measure the difference between "full transit" time (second contact to third contact) and "partial transit" time (first contact to fourth contact)? If it is, then it's possible to estimate the orbital period based on a single transit, assuming the mass and radius of the star are known. Even if that estimate is crude, it could be very helpful when observing subsequent transits if you want to know whether you missed any.

Transit shape is an inherent part of pretty much all planet-finding satellites are used.
Knowing the subtle shapes of the light change is required to tell you the way the planet crossed the star, if it has moons, if it was a microlensing event, if it has atmosphere, ...
The accuracy of the whole light-curve of the event sets how much data you can get out beyond just 'probably a planet', if you only have a binary event.

is a probably too technical presentation, but many of the graphs are interesting.

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Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 : TESS : NET April 16, 2018 : GENERAL THREAD
« Reply #160 on: 02/20/2018 04:56 PM »
I am not sure if the transit time helps that much since the plane of the exoplanet's orbit may not be across the widest part of the star. I could be wrong, but I do not believe there is a way to tell if the transit is across a cord near the edge of the star, or across a diameter of the star.

There actually is.
Assuming the disk is a simple constantly illuminated circle (it's not).
If the 'impact' of the disk of the planet does not go all the way into the star, you get a curve that bumps up and smoothly down.
If it goes all the way in at any point, so you can see the whole disk of the planet silhuetted against the star, you get a constant brightness portion of the curve.
The ratio of brightness to the stars original brightness tells you the area of the planet, and you can look at the shape of the entry and exit to see how far 'up' the star is - as you go towards the limb of the star, the entries and exits are more gradual.

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Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 : TESS : NET April 16, 2018 : GENERAL THREAD
« Reply #161 on: 02/20/2018 05:01 PM »
Does anyone know if TESS is precise enough to measure the difference between "full transit" time (second contact to third contact) and "partial transit" time (first contact to fourth contact)? If it is, then it's possible to estimate the orbital period based on a single transit, assuming the mass and radius of the star are known. Even if that estimate is crude, it could be very helpful when observing subsequent transits if you want to know whether you missed any.

TESS 2 minute cadence certainly allows us to observe ingress & egress, but visibility depends on all sorts of other things (SNR, activity, etc), also this isn't essential anyway. Most planets have a low eccentricity, and transit duration depends on a/R*, so given R* you can get the period. For a lot of the TIC, R* is poorly constrained so you need follow up to get a more precise value.

I see I'm racing speedevil again :D , and as he says, you can tell whether you have a grazing transit or not.

--- Tony

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Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 : TESS : NET April 16, 2018 : GENERAL THREAD
« Reply #162 on: 02/20/2018 06:24 PM »
Respectfully submitted: It's time to split this into separate UPDATES and DISCUSSION threads.

Offline ThePonjaX

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Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 : TESS : March 2018 : GENERAL THREAD
« Reply #163 on: 02/20/2018 11:13 PM »
27 days? Doesn't this have to observe a star for 2 years to expect to catch at least one transit of an inner planet?

'No'.
It will detect a fraction of planets - naively for earthlike orbit planets about a twelfth, on one pass - though there are areas of the sky it will stare at for one year at a time (the poles).
It will detect all planets with orbits under 27 days multiple times.
In the zones of more continuous observation, it will detect all planets with periods up to about a year.

If the mission is approved and works for another two year survey of the same design, then you have about the same chance of detecting slower transiting planets you only caught once transiting again.
It would take about twenty years or more of observation to get to most planets with earth-like orbits with two transits so you can make a stab at their orbit.

However, there are many, many other instruments out there with synergies with TESS that may help complete the survey and followup on observations.

Observation pattern shown at:



Fantastic video.

About the steps to reach the final orbit: Is done on this way because the only way to do that? A limitation on technology avoid the possibility to get there directly? 

I've to say I'm really excited for this mission.  :D

Offline Greg Hullender

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Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 : TESS : NET April 16, 2018 : Discussion
« Reply #164 on: 02/20/2018 11:15 PM »
TESS 2 minute cadence certainly allows us to observe ingress & egress . . .
Thanks. That's exactly what I was looking for.

For those interested in how one squeezes all sorts of useful information out of transit info, this paper, "Transits and Occultations," by Joshua N. Winn, is an excellent resource:

https://arxiv.org/pdf/1001.2010v5.pdf

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Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 : TESS : March 2018 : GENERAL THREAD
« Reply #165 on: 02/20/2018 11:35 PM »
About the steps to reach the final orbit: Is done on this way because the only way to do that? A limitation on technology avoid the possibility to get there directly? 

It was designed for a very, very much smaller and less capable rocket than the F9.
A very early version of the F9 threw DSCOVR past the moon - TESS is even lighter. It could certainly do the entire job of the rockets first stage, and part of the second stage, and get it up to lunar encounter.

I think it is possible - I haven't run the numbers carefully - that starting from a near polar launch with a recovered F9, it can directly inject into the target orbit.
It would require about 4km/s, or so once in LEO.
The telescope would only mass perhaps 150kg, which helps somewhat with this.
(this also requires a very much longer coast than even the 'starman' one)

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Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 : TESS : NET April 16, 2018 : Discussion
« Reply #166 on: Today at 12:44 AM »
Probably too late to recalculate things now but why not change when the launcher was changed, if F9 can do a direct insertion, and TESS then has more stationkeeping capability, presumably?
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Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 : TESS : NET April 16, 2018 : Discussion
« Reply #167 on: Today at 01:00 AM »
Probably too late to recalculate things now but why not change when the launcher was changed, if F9 can do a direct insertion, and TESS then has more stationkeeping capability, presumably?
I'm not sure it actually does any stationkeeping at all once in orbit.

The orbit it gets into is a resonant one with the moon, and according to the above video (around 7 minutes) is 'stable for decades'.

It may well be that there is nothing meaningful it could do with the extra fuel, if reaction wheel desaturations are not a driver of fuel use over the expected extended mission.

If the change in launcher was earlier, they would have been able to 'cheaply' gone from 4->9 cameras, and vastly improved scan speed/coverage.
« Last Edit: Today at 02:01 AM by speedevil »

Online LouScheffer

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Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 : TESS : NET April 16, 2018 : Discussion
« Reply #168 on: Today at 01:53 AM »
Probably too late to recalculate things now but why not change when the launcher was changed, if F9 can do a direct insertion, and TESS then has more stationkeeping capability, presumably?
I read where it already has enough fuel for a 20 year extended mission.   Most likely something else will fail first, or a better satellite will be launched so the analysis resources no longer make sense.

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