According to NASA’s plan, Nancy Grace Roman Space Telescope (WFIRST) will be the successor of not only the famous and meritorious Hubble, but also Spitzer. The agency wants to show us the Universe as we have not seen it before. The devices are to be ready for flight into space around 2025. The agency has published new videos where we can see it in its full glory and learn about its scientific goals.
For you to understand how powerful this device will be, just mention one of the most iconic images taken by the Hubble Space Telescope. It is the Hubble Ultra Deep Field, which has exposed countless galaxies in the universe, dating back several hundred million years after the Big Bang. Hubble stared at a single patch of seemingly empty sky for hundreds of hours, beginning in September 2003. Astronomers first unveiled this tapestry of galaxies in 2004.
The Nancy Grace Roman Space Telescope will be able to capture an area of the sky at least 100 times greater field of view than the Hubble telescope. Of course, with the same sharpness and at the same time. The telescope is to be 2.4 meters in diameter and will allow scientists to learn more about the mystery of dark matter. It will explore vast areas of the infrared sky, seeking answers to fundamental questions about the structure and evolution of the universe, and give us a greater understanding of which exoplanets life may exist on.
The agency plans to launch it into space in the mid-1920s. This will be one of the Agency’s most important missions following the launch of the James Webb Space Telescope this year. Building WFIRST and locating it at the L2 libation point, 1.5 million kilometers from Earth, will cost a total of approximately $ 3.2 billion.
Interestingly, another powerful telescope that will tremendously expand our knowledge of the universe will use one of the two mirrors obtained from the National Reconnaissance Bureau operating within the American Intelligence Agency (CIA). Previously, they were to be used by the Agency in spying on strategic military installations in various countries around the world, but the program was eventually closed, and extremely precise installations were handed over to NASA.
If a few years ago the CIA decided that such mirrors for espionage observation systems are already very outdated for it, we can only imagine what futuristic technologies the American army currently has at its disposal. It is a pity that they cannot be used to build new telescopes, which, with the help of space research, are only used for espionage purposes.
The agency is currently considering how to help launch WFIRST into space. Here, two options are considered, SpaceX and the Falcon Heavy rocket, or United Launch Alliance and the Delta IV Heavy rocket. Although NASA will not make the final decision in a few years, but now, looking at SpaceX’s recent amazing achievements in the field of drastically reducing the cost of space missions through rocket recycling, it is likely Elon Musk’s company will do this risky task.
Source: GeekWeek.pl/NASA / Photo. NASA
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