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Proceedings Paper

Development of lightweight mirror technology for the next generation space telescope
Author(s): H. Philip Stahl
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Paper Abstract

In 2009, NASA plans to launch the Next Generation Space Telescope (NGST) to the L2 point, 1.5 million kilometers from Earth. With a 6-meter diameter mirror, NGST is a successor to the Hubble Space Telescope with 5 times the collecting aperture. As part of NASA's Origins Program, the ten-year observing mission will search for the first light of the universe. NGST will provide astronomers with unparalleled light collection, mid-infrared sensitivity, spatial resolution and field of view. Mirror technology is critical to the system's success. The hard part is solving the problem of how to launch a 6-m, 600-kg, mirror into space on a 4-meter diameter rocket. Additionally, high performance is expected at operating temperatures of 50K. This paper reviews the mirror requirements and development efforts.

Paper Details

Date Published: 27 December 2001
PDF: 4 pages
Proc. SPIE 4451, Optical Manufacturing and Testing IV, (27 December 2001); doi: 10.1117/12.453604
Show Author Affiliations
H. Philip Stahl, NASA Marshall Space Flight Ctr. (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 4451:
Optical Manufacturing and Testing IV
H. Philip Stahl, Editor(s)

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