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Old 11-08-2018, 03:13 PM
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SpaceVoice SpaceVoice is offline
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My first papercraft is TESS, the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite

When I heard the news last week that Kepler was out of fuel and retiring, I decided to read up on NASA's latest exoplanet hunter. TESS launched in April and is getting its two-year mission underway, during which it will survey 85% of the sky. This model is by Yogi (Retired_for_now) and hosted on one of the official TESS websites. The directions gives two scales, 1:20 and 1:40, but I'm not sure which is correct. The model itself stands 3.5 inches high and has a wingspan of 8.5 inches including the solar panels.


The satellite from both front and back:




The four cameras on top comprise the only scientific instruments on board the satellite. Each one has four CCD cameras, and together they image an area of the sky that's 24 degrees by 96 degrees - basically, a long slice of the sky from the pole to the equator:



The solar panels provide power to the satellite. Mine are supported by a dowel rod with the ends thinned out a bit and colored with a black marker:



The high gain antenna sends data back to earth about every two weeks. The satellite spends most of its orbit far away from earth in a highly elliptical orbit, only coming close to the earth every 13.7 days, and that's when data is beamed to the Deep Space Network:



The black things on the satellite bus are star finders, which help TESS triangulate its position in space:



Under the bus are the thrusters for microadjustments to the satellite's orbit and orientation:



Since this was my first papercraft, I learned a lot doing this project. I had to print some of the parts pages twice, having ruined a few pieces on my first attempt. And I discovered the usefulness of toothpicks for applying glue. It's certainly not the cleanest version of this model, and I see a lot of areas where I can improve, but I'm still quite pleased with the result.
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Old 11-08-2018, 04:05 PM
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Vermin_King Vermin_King is offline
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I think it looks pretty good. Very good for a first model.
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Old 11-08-2018, 06:19 PM
Dabeer Dabeer is offline
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You're off to a good start, keep it up!



FWIW, From what I see in the instructions, 1:40 looks to be a mistake and the correct scale is 1:20.
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Old 11-08-2018, 09:54 PM
sreinmann sreinmann is offline
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Nice work! I haven't tried TESS yet myself. I agree with the usefulness of toothpicks for managing glue placement. Hope we'll see more of your projects.
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Old 11-08-2018, 10:51 PM
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SpaceVoice SpaceVoice is offline
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Thanks, folks! I'm definitely gonna apply what I learned this time around to my next project, once I decide on one.


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Originally Posted by Dabeer View Post
You're off to a good start, keep it up!



FWIW, From what I see in the instructions, 1:40 looks to be a mistake and the correct scale is 1:20.
I think you're right. At 1:20, a 3.5" model would be 70" tall in real life, which is about right judging by the photos on NASA's website.
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Old 11-09-2018, 08:29 PM
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Amccombs3 Amccombs3 is offline
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Looking good. The printed Kapton texture is interesting.
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