The TESS data will be made public through archives at the Mikulski Archive for Space Telescopes (MAST). Before release, the spacecraft raw data will be calibrated by the Science Processing and Operations Center (SPOC). Data release products include: raw full frame images, calibrated full frame images, target pixels, light curves, flat fields, pixel response function, and lists of TESS Objects of Interest (TOIs).

Each TESS data sector covers a 24 degree by 90 degree strip of the sky. Calibrated FITS files for each of four detectors within a segment will include:

  • 30 minute cadence full frame images
  • 2 minute cadence for about 200,000 target stars
  • 20 second cadence for a small set of asteroseismology targets

More information will be made available on this page closer to the TESS mission launch date.

TESS Timeline:

  • 20 Mar 2018: launch
  • Apr-May 2018: commissioning
  • ~1 Jun 2018: start of first science orbit (ecliptic south)
  • ~1 Dec 2018: data from first four months of operations to MAST
  • ~1 Apr 2019: data from second four months of operations to MAST
  • ~1 June 2019: start of observations of ecliptic north
  • ~1 Aug 2019: data from third four months of operations to MAST
  • Guest Investigator AO release: Launch -9 months
  • Guest Investigator proposals due: Launch -6 months

TESS Sky coverage - Prime Mission

Baseline (days) Sky coverage (%)
0 14.6
27.4 63.0
54.8 15.2
82.2 3.0
109.6 0.56
everything from 137.0 to 301.4 1.4 total
328.8 0.52
356.2 1.7

The Mikulski Archive for Space Telescopes (MAST)

The Mikulski Archive for Space Telescopes (MAST) is a NASA funded project to support and provide to the astronomical community with the primary focus on scientifically related data sets in the optical, ultraviolet, and near-infrared parts of the spectrum. MAST is located at the Space Telescope Science Institute (STScI).

Images taken with a prototype TESS camera