The TESS mission is in development and is due to launch in March 2018. The cameras and instrument have been built, integrated and have gone through thermal and vibration testing. The spacecraft is being built by Orbital ATK and has gone through thermal and vibration testing. The instrument and spacecraft vehicle are being integrated and will go through testing at Orbital ATK's facility in Dulles, Virginia.

The first Guest Investigator Cycle 1 call for proposals was announced on June 30, approximately 9 months prior to launch. The proposals are due September 28.

Mission timeline overview

TESS will observe a series of sectors, where a sector is one 27.4-day long observation. Each year of the mission will consist of 13 sectors. Year 1 will target the southern hemisphere and year 2 will target the northern hemisphere. The location of each sector will not be known until launch.