Systems Engineering Seminar

Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) Mission: Searching for Exoplanets on an Explorer Budget

Presented by:
Shane Hynes/Code 599 -
Program Systems Engineer for Code 460

September 14, 2017 - 1:00 pm
Building 8 Auditorium (GSFC)


The Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) will discover thousands of exoplanets in orbit around the brightest stars in the sky. In a two year survey TESS will monitor 500,000 stars for temporary dips in brightness caused by planetary transits. This first-ever spaceborne all-sky transit survey will identify planets ranging from Earth-sized to gas giants, around a wide range of stellar types and orbital distances. TESS will provide prime targets for observation with the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST), as well as other large ground-based and space-based telescopes of the future. This talk will describe the instrument, spacecraft, orbit, mission operations and current status. The instrument has been developed by MIT and Lincoln Laboratory and consists of four refractive cameras. Orbital ATK builds the spacecraft and controls the mission on orbit. Goddard provides the project office and systems engineering functions. The spacecraft and instrument are currently getting ready for environmental test and will launch in March 2018.


Shane Hynes is the Program Systems Engineer for Code 460 and the Mission Systems Engineer for Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) and has overall responsibility for the technical success of the mission. The first mission Shane worked on, Ariel 6, launched in 1979, since then he has designed electronics for the Hitchhiker program, led a team flying a UV photometer on five Space Shuttle flights (STS-34, 41, 43, 45, 56), been a systems engineer on the Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM), Far Ultraviolet Spectroscopic Explorer (FUSE), EO-1 missions and been the Mission Systems Engineer for Solar Terrestrial Relations Observatory (STEREO) and ICESat-2 mission before becoming the Mission Systems Engineer for TESS mission. Shane has degrees from Cambridge University, UC Berkeley and the Johns Hopkins University.


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