Voyager Space is proud to celebrate five years of continued successful operation of our Ka-Band mission data transmitter on NASA’s Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS). NASA launched TESS on April 18, 2018 from Cape Canaveral, FL aboard a Falcon 9 rocket. The radio downlinks mission data, specifically TESS’s observations of the universe, to Earth every 14 days, transmitting for a three-hour duration each time.
For those not familiar, TESS was launched to find exoplanets or worlds beyond our solar system. Now in its fifth year, the satellite’s cameras have mapped more than 93% of the entire sky, discovered 329 new worlds and thousands more candidates, and provided new insights into a wide array of cosmic phenomena, from stellar pulsations and exploding stars to supermassive black holes.
TESS’ continued mission success is due largely in part to Voyager’s involvement, through the acquisition of Space Micro, with TESS’ Software Defined Radio (SDR) technology. Voyager’s, 100Mbps high data rate Ka-Band SDR sends critical data back to NASA ground stations after collecting images and processing aboard TESS. The Ka-Band SDR technology is a critical component of the mission’s success as TESS continues to make more out of this world discoveries.
TESS isn’t the only example of outstanding success of our radios. This year also marks the 10-year anniversary of NASA’s Interface Region Imaging Spectrograph (IRIS) satellite operating in space. Since its launch on June 28, 2013 from Vandenberg Air Force Base aboard an Orbital Pegasus XL Rocket, our S-Band transponder and X-Band mission data transmitter have been instrumental in IRIS’ mission to examine the sun’s lower atmosphere to understand how it is energized.
“We sincerely applaud the hard work and dedication that has gone into the ongoing success of both of these important missions,” said Marshall Smith, VP of Exploration at Voyager Space. “These are exceptional case studies highlighting the mission-proven benefits of our technology. We are equally thrilled with the long-term reliability of our software defined radios and how they are making a difference in NASA’s space exploration efforts.”
We can’t wait to see what else these capabilities will enable in LEO, GEO and X-GEO (Beyond Geostationary Earth Orbit) in the future!
*The flight legacies of these missions are with Space Micro which Voyager Space acquired in January 2022.