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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.
Monday program listing