Black holes or extrasolar planets? A look for dark energy or back to the beginning of time? These are the types of questions occupying teams of scientists hired by NASA to propose capstone space science missions for the 2020s.
The effort begins with 19 study contracts funded by NASA, which intends to submit the top proposals to the National Academy of Sciences. The board sets priorities for major U.S. science initiatives. Once every 10 years, it takes a crack at determining the country's priorities in space science, as well as other areas.
Full story from MSNBC.
Related articles in SPIE Newsroom by Webster Cash, mentioned in the article:
Ultradeep occultation for planet hunting
Mapping Earth-like planets at a distance of 30 lightyears
"Starshades" for exoplanet detection and characterization