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: 'Flying saucer': NASA live-streamed Low-Density Supersonic Decelerator test

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

ESA's planetary defence test set for 2020

3 hours ago

If an asteroid were spotted headed towards Earth, what could humanity do about it? ESA's latest mission is part of a larger international effort to find out.

Brief moon eclipse coming April 4

9 hours ago

A brief total eclipse of the Moon may be visible on April 4 to skywatchers in western North America, Australia and East Asia, astronomers say.

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.