A new NASA space telescope mission has received the necessary endorsements to continue with its progress and testing phases.
This program was among the missions that were considered for termination in NASA’s 2021 budget proposal. The space agency’s most recent project is known as the Wide-Field Infrared Survey Telescope (WFIRST) and will be used to report new cosmic findings.
Not long ago, WFIRST passed an important review process that analyzed its programmatic and other technical functionalities. Because the telescope’s design is already at a rather advanced phase, which NASA could attain through the lessons learned from the development of the Hubble Space Telescope and the James Webb Space Telescope, the WFIRST was able to successfully get approval in the review process.
This means that the project has been endorsed and will move forward with its next stage, which implies developing its hardware.
“With the passage of this latest key milestone, the team will begin finalizing the WFIRST mission design by building engineering test units and models to ensure the design will hold up under the extreme conditions during launch and while in space,” NASA explained in a statement.
The Project Has Been Given the Green Light
As per the space agency, WFIRST is created to be more powerful than Hubble. With an enhanced viewing area, NASA intends to use WFIRST to identify even the dimmest signals in space. Doing so would allow the telescope to reveal new cosmic bodies, such as exoplanets and dark energy.
“[It can] detect faint infrared signals from across the cosmos while also generating enormous panoramas of the universe, revealing secrets of dark energy, discovering planets outside our solar system (exoplanets), and addressing a host of other astrophysics and planetary science topics,” NASA stated.
WFIRST’s final stage will be a huge step for the team working on the telescope, more so since the project was almost terminated the previous month. On February 10th, the White House examined the 2021 budget proposal from NASA.
One of the topics in the proposal was the projects that NASA was planning on terminating. These include the WFIRST, which the space agency planned to terminate because of the increasing costs of the development of the James Webb Space Telescope.