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Session 60 - Next Generation Space Telescope.
Oral session, Tuesday, January 14
We recently competed a 3-month study, under a Cooperative Agreement with NASA's Goddard Space Flight, to assess the feasibility of a Next Generation Space Telescope (NGST) mission which could:
Achieve the scientific goals of the "HST and Beyond" committee report,
Launch in late-2005 on an Atlas IIAS launch vehicle, and
Be developed and operated for 10 years for 1/4th the life-cycle cost of the Hubble Space Telescope.
Our team included members from industry (Hughes Danbury Optical Systems, SWALES amp; Associates), universities (Cornell, UCLA, STScI) and government (Langley Research Center, Goddard Space Flight Center). This paper summarizes the results of our study, including the science requirements which developed for NGST and the resulting mission concept and conceptual design. We also identify the key technologies which must be further developed to enable this mission and potential ground and flight demonstrations to verify its readiness for the development of NGST. In essence, we believe it would be possible to place a deployable 8-meter telescope in a lissajous orbit about the L2 point and passively cool it to 30K, permitting background limited imaging and spectroscopic observations in the 0.5 to 20 Ám region of the spectrum. The primary objective of NGST would be to study the evolution of the early universe, but it would also be a superior instrument for studies of nearby galaxies, our own galaxy and the outer solar system.
Program listing for Tuesday