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Session 80 - Education, Green Flashes and Future Missions.
Oral session, Thursday, June 11

[80.03] Design for a low-cost, 2.4-meter, geosynchronous UV Observatory

B. Haisch, P. Robb, K. Strong (Lockheed Martin Advanced Technology Ctr.), D. Shemansky (U. Southern California)

Studies were initiated in 1995 at the Lockheed Martin Advanced Technology Center in Palo Alto to explore both the application of new technologies and the economical utilization of commercial products to the design of a new generation of scientific research satellites. A 2.4-meter Solar System Observatory (SSO) has been designed to carry out as its primary mission imaging and spectroscopy of comets and of the outer planets from geosynchronous orbit. Such a Hubble-class telescope with a science payload consisting of four UV/EUV spectrographs (wavelength range 550-3200 Åspectral resolution up to 20000) and a high-resolution imager having 0.06 arcsec spatial resolution can now be built and launched within the budget of a NASA Discovery Mission. Following a one-year science program under the direction of the principal investigator, the SSO would transition to a guest observer facility. Although optimized for cometary and planetary measurements in the UV/EUV, SSO would have outstanding capability for a variety of astrophysical measurements in the UV. SSO would also serve as a prototype for other similar low-cost space observatories that could be optimized for stellar, extragalactic and other applications.

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