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D.C. Ebbets, J. DeCino (Ball Aerospace), J. Green (University of Colorado)
NASA recently supported a Visions Mission study to develop the scientific justification and an implementation concept for a future large Optical and Ultraviolet Telescope. Our study, which we called the Modern Universe Space Telescope, identified scientific goals that require the angular resolution expected from a 10m aperture in visible light and the sensitivity provided by 50m2 of collecting area. The implementation approach uses a segmented primary mirror that can be assembled in space. If the system is designed thoughtfully from the beginning, then robotic techniques such as those investigated for HST servicing might be used to great advantage. Alternatively, if the space operations infrastructure included in the Vision for Space Exploration is developed, then either astronaut EVA or telerobotic assembly techniques could be employed. In either case, in-space assembly enables a telescope that is substantially larger than the diameter of the launch vehicle. Assembly also offers advantages over deployment with regard to mass and volume-efficient stowage in the launch vehicle fairing, and simplicity of the mechanical and structural design.
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Bulletin of the American Astronomical Society, 37 #4
© 2005. The American Astronomical Soceity.