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Rhod Sharp, presenter of Up All Night on BBC Radio 5, talks with Prof. Sara Seager about the functionality of TESS and the details of its orbit. “TESS has a very unique orbit, it’s like a giant ellipse,” says Seager. “The cameras are made to be very stable thermally, so little temperature changes don’t expand or contract different parts of the lens assembly, and thus mess up the image.”

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A set of flight camera electronics on one of the TESS cameras, developed by the MIT Kavli Institute for Astrophysics and Space Research (MKI), will transmit exoplanet data from the camera to a computer aboard the spacecraft that will process it before transmitting it back to scientists on Earth.

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