Telescope for NASA's WFIRST mission advances to new phase of development

phys.org | 2/25/2019 | Staff
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On schedule to launch in the mid-2020s, NASA's Wide Field Infrared Survey Telescope (WFIRST) mission will help uncover some of the biggest mysteries in the cosmos. The state-of-the-art telescope on the WFIRST spacecraft will play a significant role in this, providing the largest picture of the universe ever seen with the same depth and precision as the Hubble Space Telescope.

The telescope for WFIRST has successfully passed its preliminary design review, a major milestone for the mission. This means the telescope has met the performance, schedule, and budget requirements to advance to the next stage of development, where the team will finalize its design.

Honor - Development - Team - Individual - Telescope

"It is an honor to work with such a dedicated and talented development team. Each individual has helped ensure the telescope is technically sound, safe, and capable of carrying out compelling science," said Scott Smith, WFIRST telescope manager at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland. "It's exciting to picture our new telescope out in space, exploring the universe, and we look forward to pushing the boundaries of human knowledge."

WFIRST is leveraging existing hardware that was transferred to NASA, and the development is much further along at this point than it would be if the telescope had originated with WFIRST. While many of the inherited components are being modified or reconfigured to function as part of the final design, the telescope is already at a very advanced stage of design.

WFIRST - Survey - Mission - Understanding - Physics

WFIRST is a high-precision survey mission that will advance our understanding of fundamental physics. WFIRST is similar to other space telescopes, like Spitzer and the James Webb Space Telescope, in that it will detect infrared light, which is invisible to human eyes. Earth's atmosphere absorbs infrared light, which presents challenges for observatories on the ground. WFIRST has the advantage of flying in space, above the atmosphere.

The WFIRST telescope...
(Excerpt) Read more at: phys.org
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