PDA

View Full Version : Squadrons of Planet Hunters Could Find Life



Fraser
2006-Jun-30, 07:29 PM
The Hubble Space Telescope demonstrated that the best viewing is outside the Earth's atmosphere. Over the years, a series of new telescopes have been lofted into space, and expanded this view into other wavelengths: Spitzer, Chandra, Compton, etc. Next up is the James Webb Space Telescope, with a mirror 6 times larger than Hubble, due for launch in 2013. But these observatories will pale in comparison when squadrons of space telescopes reach orbit. Both NASA and ESA are working on next generation space-based interferometers. They could answer one of the most fundamental questions of science: is there other life in the Universe?

Read the full blog entry (http://www.universetoday.com/2006/06/30/squadrons-of-planet-hunters-could-find-life/)

ToSeek
2006-Jun-30, 08:18 PM
Let's hope the Terrestrial Planet Finder gets launched before I retire.

Fraser
2006-Jun-30, 09:59 PM
I wonder if the TPF and Darwin projects could merge? They're pretty similar projects.

Mortac
2006-Jul-01, 02:43 AM
I wonder if the TPF and Darwin projects could merge? They're pretty similar projects.

Yeah, there's not much reason to do it separately. Better to do it together to share construction, research and costs. That would perhaps also allow larger telescopes.

homo_cosmosicus
2006-Jul-01, 03:23 PM
Let's hope the Terrestrial Planet Finder gets launched before I retire.



Looks like you'll retire first:



Unfortunately, the mission has been put on hold indefinitely,
as part of recent NASA science cutbacks.


I vote for Ballon-borne telescopes, they are much cheaper yet can get
our telescopes above 99.5% of the atmosphere:

http://sciencematters.berkeley.edu/archives/volume2/issue15/story2.php

"Launching a small satellite carrying a telescope into orbit costs around
$100 million," says Boggs, an assistant professor in the Department of
Physics. "But for about $1 million, a balloon can get you above 99 percent
of the atmosphere. So balloon flights are great for testing out new
instruments that may eventually go up in space."

ToSeek
2006-Jul-01, 08:11 PM
Yeah, there's not much reason to do it separately. Better to do it together to share construction, research and costs. That would perhaps also allow larger telescopes.

ESA and NASA seem to overlap more than makes sense: TPF and Darwin, Bepi-Columbo and MESSENGER, XMM-Newton and AXAF, etc.

jkmccrann
2006-Jul-02, 06:41 PM
ESA and NASA seem to overlap more than makes sense: TPF and Darwin, Bepi-Columbo and MESSENGER, XMM-Newton and AXAF, etc.


Maybe, but the fact they're competing against each other to make the next big scientific discovery up there is surely a good thing? Surely that promotes each to strive that little bit harder to try and get there first?

antoniseb
2006-Jul-03, 02:02 PM
I don't know if they are competing. Sometimes NASA missions get cut because there is an ESA mission scheduled to do the same thing, e.g. GAIA, gave SIM the axe.