NASA has reportedly unveiled a new plan to build a successor to the James Webb Space Telescope;
The Habitable World Observatory on the Moon was announced at the latest American Astronomical Society meeting, whose goal is to search for signs of life on habitable exoplanets.
Space.com said on Friday that the observatory would be a big project for the coronagraph, which is an instrument that allows scientists to study faint objects.
Mark Clampin, chief of NASA’s astrophysics division, told the agency that the project was approached as if it were facing a tight launch window, building on previous techniques used for the Nancy Grace Roman Space Telescope as well as the Webb.
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A habitable Earth Observatory would be sent to a point – such as L2, or the second Lagrange Point – a million miles from Earth and facing the Sun.
“They’re already planning to be useful for this mission from day one,” Clampin said, noting that in 10 to 15 years companies could be “immediately out there serving robotics.”
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“It gives flexibility, because it means that we don’t have to do all the science ends first,” he said to the attendees. Those able to serve at the observatory can extend their mission.
The agency will report to the commercial sector for launching the vehicle.
Notably, with this observation, NASA is following the latest decadal survey of the US National Academies, which asked NASA to update the “Great Observatories” program.
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According to Science , the report said the six-meter telescope is sensitive to ultraviolet, optical, and near-ultraviolet wavelengths that can detect the start of that effort.
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