TESS launched April 18 at 6:51 p.m. EDT from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida atop a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket.

TESS will undergo a 60 day commissioning plan before collecting science data.

Once TESS begins its science mission, it will observe one sector at a time, starting in the southern hemisphere. TESS will continue to tile the sky with 27.4 day-long sectors during its 2 year prime mission.

Selections for Guest Investigator Cycle 1 were announced in January 2018. For GI Cycle 2, the spacecraft will survey the northern ecliptic hemisphere, and the proposal deadline is expected to be in Dec 2018.

TESS launched successfully on April 18, 2018. TESS will begin collecting science data after a 60 day commissioning period. Image Credit: NASA/Kim Shiflett

A camera mounted on the Falcon 9 second stage shows the TESS spacecraft separating from the vehicle. At 7:53 p.m., the twin solar arrays that will power the spacecraft successfully deployed. Image Credit: NASA TV