NASA seeks concepts for innovative uses of large space telescopes

Nov 28, 2012

NASA is exploring options for innovative and imaginative uses of two large space telescopes recently transferred to the agency. In a request for information (RFI) published Monday, NASA seeks information about system concepts and architectures that would take advantage of these assets to address NASA's goals in astrophysics, heliophysics, planetary sciences, and human spaceflight.

"Because there are two telescopes, there is room for projects that span the gamut of the imagination," said Michael Moore, a senior program executive at NASA Headquarters in Washington. "They range from simple balloon flights to complex missions in science using new technologies under development and the capabilities available with the and our commercial space flight partners."

The telescopes are equivalent to NASA's in aperture, but designed to have a much wider field of view. They already are being studied for possible use as a wide field observatory, which would address the top priority recommendation in the National Research Council's 2010 Astrophysics Decadal Survey. NASA is seeking alternative goals and unique approaches in order to expand the range of concepts for use of this capable hardware.

The RFI invites interested parties to provide an outline of their concept in enough detail for a next-step assessment by NASA as it prepares for future investments in diverse areas of science and technology. Respondents who submit the most interesting concepts will be invited to present their ideas at a workshop in Huntsville, Ala., in early February 2013.

"We will give all ideas equal consideration and choose the most promising for further study," said Marc Allen, acting deputy associate administrator for research in NASA's Science Mission Directorate. "We want to tap into innovative ideas wherever we can find them in order to optimize use of these telescope assets."

Explore further: Computer simulation suggests early Earth bombarded by asteroids and comets

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

NASA looks at future astronomy missions

Feb 18, 2008

The U.S. space agency has selected 19 science teams to conduct year-long studies of new concepts for its next generation of major space observatories.

Recommended for you

Exploring Mars in low Earth orbit

16 hours ago

In their quest to understand life's potential beyond Earth, astrobiologists study how organisms might survive in numerous environments, from the surface of Mars to the ice-covered oceans of Jupiter's moon, ...

Lifetime of gravity measurements heralds new beginning

18 hours ago

Although ESA's GOCE satellite is no more, all of the measurements it gathered during its life skirting the fringes our atmosphere, including the very last as it drifted slowly back to Earth, have been drawn ...

NASA's IceCube no longer on ice

22 hours ago

NASA's Science Mission Directorate (SMD) has chosen a team at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, to build its first Earth science-related CubeSat mission.

User comments : 0