New Worlds Observer

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New Worlds Observer

Post by Lazarus on 30th April 2012, 4:23 pm

The search for habitable worlds: 1. The viability of a starshade mission

Pretty detailed study of a starshade mission to search for habitable exoplanets.
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Re: New Worlds Observer

Post by Galzi on 16th October 2012, 12:28 pm

NASA likely to choose the New Worlds Probe concept: realize only the starshade and associate it to JWST

http://www.thespacereview.com/article/2167/1

considering the legacy of the massive overruns associated with the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) program, there may not be another large space telescope launched for another decade or two. In that case, the quickest, and cheapest, way forward to achieving Astro 2010’s direct imaging mandate would be to utilize an already existing asset like JWST. Just such a mission has been proposed, the New Worlds Probe. The New Worlds Probe would cost about as much as a New Frontiers mission, as it would only need to launch the starshade.

If funding is available, the starshade, with the power of a 6,5 m telescope, could easily exceed the accuracy of the original TPF

The New Worlds’ approach should allow it to exceed the goals of the original Terrestrial Planet Finder proposal, achieving those goals more quickly and at a lower cost. Those goals include obtaining images to show the location, orbit, and size of an exoplanet, even one as small as the Earth. In addition, for the first time, good quality spectra would be obtained telling us something about the conditions on extrasolar terrestrial worlds—are there clouds, oceans, continents? These will not be maps per se, but they will be the first steps on the road to constructing those real maps.

The team is working to a starshade pathfinder to test the technology

This summer, Webster Cash and the New Worlds team began flight tests on a zeppelin that would be used as a platform for a small-scale starshade to be observed by a telescope on the ground. They are still working out the bugs, but, within a few months, the New Worlds team plans to begin gathering serious astronomical data using this starshade pathfinder. Their next step will be to keep the starshade attached to the zeppelin, but observe it with a telescope carried aloft by a balloon that will be several hundred kilometers away. This will allow the observers to peer at closer (and therefore warmer) regions around the target stars. Gaining real world experience should boost the case for funding, and flying, a space-based starshade.

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Re: New Worlds Observer

Post by Led_Zep on 24th March 2014, 1:27 pm

http://www.nasa.gov/jpl/news/starshade-20140320/

Nice video shows a prototype (NASA)
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Re: New Worlds Observer

Post by Led_Zep on 21st May 2014, 2:32 pm

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Re: New Worlds Observer

Post by Led_Zep on 3rd September 2015, 4:22 am

http://exep.jpl.nasa.gov/stdt/Exo-S_Starshade_Probe_Class_Final_Report_150312_URS250118.pdf

The Final Reports for both the Starshade and Coronagraph Exoplanet Probe Studies (Exo-S and Exo-C respectively) have been publicly released. These reports examine the science possible for exoplanet direct imaging missions that can be launched as early as 2024 for around $1B dollars. These concept studies make a compelling case for affordable direct imaging missions, will motivate technology investments and are expected to provide valuable information to the exoplanet community for the design of mission concepts leading to the next Astrophysics Decadal Survey.
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Re: New Worlds Observer

Post by Led_Zep on 4th September 2015, 3:45 am

http://www.spacedaily.com/reports/Starshade_identifies_celestial_objects_at_McMath_Pierce_Solar_Telescope_999.html

Grumman (NOC) engineers and astronomers demonstrated the ability of a petal-shaped starshade to clearly see celestial objects during two, weeklong series of engineering tests on Kitt Peak at the McMath-Pierce Solar Telescope. This was the first time a starshade was tested against actual astronomical objects.


Fantastic picture :

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Re: New Worlds Observer

Post by Sunchaser on 4th September 2015, 7:19 am

Will we get to see the results of the experiment/test run?

-M-
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