I'm sure most of you remember a while back when the news broke that the NRO National Reconnaissance Office had found a couple HUBBLE class spy
telescopes sitting in mothballs in one of their warehouses. And so kindly gifted them to NASA.
Well NASA is now looking for ideas on what to use them for. It looks like they have already got a use for one of them locked on. But now they are
asking the scientific community at large for suggestions for the second one.
One of the donated telescopes could be used for the Wide-Field Infrared Survey Telescope, or WFIRST, designed to probe dark energy and detect
exoplanets. WFIRST was ranked by the National Research Council as the top priority for NASA's astrophysics program after completion of the James Webb
Space Telescope, a flagship $8.8 billion project due for launch in 2018. Based on NASA's budget projections, and before the gifting of the NRO
telescopes, officials said the earliest WFIRST could launch was 2024. Scientists foresee the WFIRST mission advancing research into Earth-like planets
around other stars, charting the expansion of the universe, and producing the deepest all-sky map of the cosmos in near-infrared wavelengths.
But the second one will be decided by a panel in February.
The call for proposals issued Tuesday seeks information on concepts to use the NRO telescopes for astrophysics, heliophysics, planetary sciences
and human spaceflight missions, according to NASA.
So, what project do you folks think the telescopes should be used for?