NASA’s Science Mission Directorate (SMD) periodically conducts independent, comparative reviews of its operating missions. NASA uses the findings from these reviews to define an implementation strategy and give programmatic direction to the missions and projects concerned for the next five fiscal years.
These reviews of operating missions are NASA’s highest form of peer review, as the subject is not a single science investigation, or even a single space mission, but rather a portfolio of operating missions. The reviews of operating missions are referred to as Senior Reviews, in recognition of the high level of the peer review.
The 2019 Senior Review included the following missions:
- Chandra X-ray Observatory
- Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope
- Hubble Space Telescope
- Neutron Star Interior Composition Explorer
- Nuclear Spectroscopic Telescope Array
- Neil Gehrels Swift Observatory
- Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite
- X-ray Multi-Mirror Mission-Newton
TESS, along with the other 7 missions, was extended through 2022. TESS also received one of the highest ranking assigned by the NASA Astrophysics Senior Review: