The Future of Infrared Space Astronomy in Europe and Japan

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Session 10 -- Remote Observing, Ground-Based Telescopes and Instruments
Display presentation, Monday, 9, 1995, 9:20am - 6:30pm

[10.12] The Future of Infrared Space Astronomy in Europe and Japan

Harley A. Thronson, Jr. (U. Wyo), Timothy G. Hawarden, John K. Davies (JAC, Hawaii), Alan J. Penny (RAL), Alain Leger (IAS, Orsay, Fr), Toshio Matsumoto (U. Nagoya)

Both in Europe and in Japan ambitious astronomical missions at infrared wavelengths are being proposed for the period 2000 to 2020. In Europe, the ``Horizon 2000 Plus" decade review is drawing to a close. The draft programme recommends that the European Space Agency undertake technical studies of a possible infrared interferometer in space, currently designated ``DARWIN". This mission will have as its central goal the detection and spectroscopic study of extra-solar terrestrial planets which may harbor carbon-based life. Such an interferometer will also be a powerful tool for general purpose observational astrophysics.

In Japan, scientists are proposing to the Japanese space agency (ISAS) the Infrared Imaging Surveyor (IRIS) mission, a 0.7 m infrared observatory, which may be built and instrumented in collaboration with NASA.

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