NASA has approved the draft of the 30-meter space telescope with self-Assembly
Data from space telescopes, free from the distortions introduced by the Earth’s atmosphere.
Space Agency NASA has allocated funds for the first phase of designing a space telescope with a mirror of about 30 meters. But the most interesting is not even the gigantic size of the machine: it is planned that parts of the telescope are launched on different rockets and going into orbit in a single unit.
Many experts believe that "Hubble" Not only the first but also the last of a large orbiting optical telescope. The fact that since the time of the Galileo, the main enemy of the ground-based astronomy was the small movement of the atmospheric air, not allowing to obtain an image in fine detail (an angular resolution impair, as experts say). But now it has learned to deal with adaptive optics. In terms of the exorbitant cost of space launches, it’s easier to build the very large telescope on the Ground.
The project team Dmitry Savransky (Savransky Dmitry) of Cornell University, refutes this opinion. The solution is proposed by the authors, very elegant. Nowhere to run one big machine.
Within a few months or even years, orbit will go out and separate the parts of the mirror – hexagons with a size of about a meter. You do not even need a separate missile such a small device "a ride to orbit" when you run something larger.
It is expected that each piece will have a space sail that would allow him to move under the action of the solar wind. Gathered at the second Lagrange point, these elements will connect in a huge 30-meter telescope. For comparison, the diameter of the mirror "Hubble" – 2.4 meters, and infrared telescope "James Webb" that is yet to be launched, is 6.5 meters.
Each solar sail will be part of a sun shield for the new tool.
As explained on the project page, the telescope will be able to work in the infrared, optical and ultraviolet ranges.
NASA’s Innovative Advanced Concepts (NIAC), which can be translated as "Innovative advanced concepts NASA". Developers are allocated about 125 thousand dollars and nine months in further calculations.
"That’s what the NIAC program, says savransky in a press release. – You are applying [for the contest] a few of these crazy ideas and try to justify them with a few preliminary calculations, and then [begins] nine-month project in which you attempt to answer the question of whether [further work]".
After that, you can apply for the second stage of the competition, which will be the most convincing justification.
Project tool Assembly of small Autonomous modules in the new era of miniature spacecraft looks so fantastic. Well, the potential of the new telescope is impressive.
"Mason peck (Mason Peck) from Cornell University. If you want to learn more about how to create a large space telescope from tiny pieces, it will change how we explore space, says Mason peck (Mason Peck) from Cornell University. We can afford to see further and better than ever, perhaps even [see] the surface of exoplanets".
Other winners of the first stage of steel, for example, projects light atmospheric probes to study Venus and the flying robot-amphibian, suitable for the study of different planets. The full list of selected concepts can be found on the NASA website.
By the way, "News.Science" (nauka.vesti.ru) and earlier wrote about the winners of the various stages of NIAC, for example, of the submarine to the study of the Titan and the project for the extraction of water on asteroids.