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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.
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.
Originally posted by Mrskyblueworld
reply to post by ngchunter
No worries, I know its a made up story due to the fact it says we're doomed by an asteroid on 21st Dec 2012, if it's a satire web site then thanks for letting me know!
I'm young and new, I have much to learn!
Maybe this is too simple, but how about using it to replace the Hubble when the hubble space telescope dies?
Originally posted by watchitburn
So, what project do you folks think the telescopes should be used for?
"There is no direct successor to the Hubble ". Well, maybe there should be, and that might be a good use?
There is no direct successor to the Hubble as an ultraviolet and visible-light space telescope, as near-term space telescopes do not duplicate Hubble's wavelength coverage (near-ultraviolet to near-infrared wavelengths), instead concentrating on the farther infrared bands. These bands are preferred for studying high redshift and low-temperature objects, objects generally older and farther away in the universe. These wavelengths are also difficult or impossible to study from the ground, justifying the expense of a space-based telescope. Large ground-based telescopes can image some of the same wavelengths as Hubble, sometimes challenge HST in terms of resolution (via adaptive optics), have much larger light-gathering power, and can be upgraded more easily, but cannot yet match the Hubble's excellent resolution over a wide field of view with the very dark background of space.
with some capability in the visible range (in particular in the red and up to the yellow part of the visible spectrum).