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Proceedings Paper

The Exo-S probe class starshade mission
Author(s): Sara Seager; Margaret Turnbull; William Sparks; Mark Thomson; Stuart B. Shaklan; Aki Roberge; Marc Kuchner; N. Jeremy Kasdin; Shawn Domagal-Goldman; Webster Cash; Keith Warfield; Doug Lisman; Dan Scharf; David Webb; Rachel Trabert; Stefan Martin; Eric Cady; Cate Heneghan
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Paper Abstract

Exo-S is a direct imaging space-based mission to discover and characterize exoplanets. With its modest size, Exo-S bridges the gap between census missions like Kepler and a future space-based flagship direct imaging exoplanet mission. With the ability to reach down to Earth-size planets in the habitable zones of nearly two dozen nearby stars, Exo-S is a powerful first step in the search for and identification of Earth-like planets. Compelling science can be returned at the same time as the technological and scientific framework is developed for a larger flagship mission. The Exo-S Science and Technology Definition Team studied two viable starshade-telescope missions for exoplanet direct imaging, targeted to the $1B cost guideline. The first Exo-S mission concept is a starshade and telescope system dedicated to each other for the sole purpose of direct imaging for exoplanets (The "Starshade Dedicated Mission"). The starshade and commercial, 1.1-m diameter telescope co-launch, sharing the same low-cost launch vehicle, conserving cost. The Dedicated mission orbits in a heliocentric, Earth leading, Earth-drift away orbit. The telescope has a conventional instrument package that includes the planet camera, a basic spectrometer, and a guide camera. The second Exo-S mission concept is a starshade that launches separately to rendezvous with an existing on-orbit space telescope (the "Starshade Rendezvous Mission"). The existing telescope adopted for the study is the WFIRST-AFTA (Wide-Field Infrared Survey Telescope Astrophysics Focused Telescope Asset). The WFIRST-AFTA 2.4-m telescope is assumed to have previously launched to a Halo orbit about the Earth-Sun L2 point, away from the gravity gradient of Earth orbit which is unsuitable for formation flying of the starshade and telescope. The impact on WFIRST-AFTA for starshade readiness is minimized; the existing coronagraph instrument performs as the starshade science instrument, while formation guidance is handled by the existing coronagraph focal planes with minimal modification and an added transceiver.

Paper Details

Date Published: 16 September 2015
PDF: 18 pages
Proc. SPIE 9605, Techniques and Instrumentation for Detection of Exoplanets VII, 96050W (16 September 2015); doi: 10.1117/12.2190378
Show Author Affiliations
Sara Seager, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (United States)
Margaret Turnbull, Global Science Institute (United States)
William Sparks, Space Telescope Science Institute (United States)
Mark Thomson, Jet Propulsion Lab. (United States)
Stuart B. Shaklan, Jet Propulsion Lab. (United States)
Aki Roberge, NASA Goddard Space Flight Ctr. (United States)
Marc Kuchner, NASA Goddard Space Flight Ctr. (United States)
N. Jeremy Kasdin, Princeton Univ. (United States)
Shawn Domagal-Goldman, NASA Goddard Space Flight Ctr. (United States)
Webster Cash, Univ. of Colorado (United States)
Keith Warfield, Jet Propulsion Lab. (United States)
Doug Lisman, Jet Propulsion Lab. (United States)
Dan Scharf, Jet Propulsion Lab. (United States)
David Webb, Jet Propulsion Lab. (United States)
Rachel Trabert, Jet Propulsion Lab. (United States)
Stefan Martin, Jet Propulsion Lab. (United States)
Eric Cady, Jet Propulsion Lab. (United States)
Cate Heneghan, Jet Propulsion Lab. (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 9605:
Techniques and Instrumentation for Detection of Exoplanets VII
Stuart Shaklan, Editor(s)

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