The Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) is the next step in the search for planets outside of our solar system, including those that could support life. The mission finds exoplanets that periodically block part of the light from their host stars, events called transits. TESS will survey 200,000 of the brightest stars near the sun to search for transiting exoplanets.
The stars TESS studies are 30 to 100 times brighter than those the Kepler mission and K2 follow-up surveyed, enabling far easier follow-up observations with both ground-based and space-based telescopes. TESS will also cover a sky area 400 times larger than that monitored by Kepler.