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Axios

Axios reporter Andrew Freeman writes that the TESS satellite has captured its first images of the southern sky. “This swath of the sky’s southern hemisphere includes more than a dozen stars we know have transiting planets based on previous studies from ground observatories,” explains MIT’s George Ricker, TESS’ principal investigator.

Gizmodo

Prof. Sara Seager and other top scientists recently urged members of the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation to fund NASA’s hunt for extraterrestrial life, reports Ryan Mandelbaum of Gizmodo. In testimony, Seager noted that moon landings inspired current engineers, and for the next generation “the equivalent of that is the search for life.”

Xinhuanet

NASA’s TESS satellite, which is searching for planets outside our solar system, is expected to send back its first series of data in August, reports the Xinhua News Agency. The mission is being led by MIT researchers and will, “monitor the brightness of more than 200,000 stars over a period of two years, eyeing temporary drops in brightness caused by planetary transits,” according to Xinhua.

United Press International (UPI)

The Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) took its first picture of the stars as it moved toward its final orbit, reports Brooks Hays of United Press International. “The plethora of stars in the image -- at least 2,000 of them -- showcases the broad perspective provided by TESS's four cameras,” writes Hays.

Forbes

NASA’s planet-hunting satellite TESS has “snapped its first test shot — an incredibly clear, star-studded image centered on the Southern constellation of Centaurus,” writes Bruce Dorminey for Forbes. “We are truly excited about how well the TESS cameras are working,” said George Ricker, the mission’s principal investigator and a senior research scientist at MIT’s Kavli Institute. 

PBS NOVA

Prof. Sara Seager speaks with Nova Wonders about the hope of finding “some sign of life” with the TESS mission. "We'd like to see methane and other gases,” says Seager. “And some of these, on their own or together, would help make the case for life on another planet.”

New Scientist

NASA’s recently launched Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) “will spend the next two years scanning 200,000 stars looking for any exoplanets orbiting them,” explains New Scientist. In about two months, once the satellite is in orbit and its cameras are tested, “there’ll just be a flood of information,” says MIT’s George Ricker, the principal investigator on TESS.

CNN

NASA has successfully launched its “planet-hunting” Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite, more than a decade after MIT scientists first proposed the idea of a mission like TESS, reports Ashley Stickland for CNN. “NASA believes that TESS will build on Kepler’s momentum and open the study of exoplanets in unprecedented ways,” writes Strickland.

Popular Mechanics

After launching into space on a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket, “NASA's newest planet-hunter, the TESS space telescope, will observe roughly 85 percent of the sky to find planets orbiting bright, nearby stars,” writes Jay Bennett of Popular Mechanics. "Never underestimate how ingenious nature actually is," said MIT’s George Ricker, who is the principal investigator on TESS.

BBC News

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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.”

Wired

The Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) will enter an unusual, highly elliptical orbit around the Earth to capture images of about 20,000 new exoplanet candidates, writes Robbie Gonzalez of Wired. "We are setting the stage for the future of exoplanet research—not just for the 21st century, but the 22nd century and beyond," says MIT Kavli Institute senior research scientist George Ricker, leader of the TESS mission.

Boston Herald

With TESS scheduled to launch, Kathleen McKiernan of The Boston Herald spoke with postdoctoral fellow Jennifer Burt and TESS researcher Natalia Guerrero, both at MIT's Kavli Institute. “It is NASA’s next exoplanet hunter,” said Burt of the MIT-led NASA mission.

The Verge

Loren Grush of The Verge examines the potential findings of NASA’s Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS), which “will stare out at the cosmos searching for never-before-seen worlds” for two years, after launching on April 16. “[W]e’ll have a whole catalog of these planets in an order of priority for follow-up,” says Prof. Sara Seager, deputy science director for TESS.

The Boston Globe

With the launch of NASA’s Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite near, Elise Takahama of The Boston Globe spoke with Roland Vanderspek, a principal research scientist at MIT’s Kavli Institute, about the mission. “I’m hoping we get some really beautiful images,” said Vanderspek, “and enable good science all around the world.”

Associated Press

Marcia Dunn of the Associated Press reports on NASA’s Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS), which is expected to find thousands of exoplanets “around the closest, brightest stars.” “All astronomers for centuries to come are really going to focus on these objects," said senior research scientist George Ricker, who is the mission’s chief scientist. "This is really a mission for the ages.”