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Proceedings Paper

The next-generation space infrared astronomy mission SPICA
Author(s): Takao Nakagawa
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Paper Abstract

SPICA (Space Infrared Telescope for Cosmology and Astrophysics) is an astronomical mission optimized for mid- and far-infrared astronomy with a cryogenically cooled 3-m class (3.2 m in the current design) telescope. Its high spatial resolution and unprecedented sensitivity in the mid- and far-infrared will enable us to address a number of key problems in present-day astronomy, ranging from the star-formation history of the universe to the formation of planets. To reduce the mass of the whole mission, SPICA will be launched at ambient temperature and cooled down on orbit by mechanical coolers on board with an efficient radiative cooling system, a combination of which allows us to have a 3-m class cooled (6 K) telescope in space with moderate total weight (3.7t). SPICA is proposed as a Japanese-led mission together with extensive international collaboration. The most important international partner is ESA. The assessment study on the European contribution to the SPICA project has started under the framework of the ESA Cosmic Vision 2015-2025. US and Korean participations are also being discussed extensively. The target launch year of SPICA is FY2018.

Paper Details

Date Published: 5 August 2010
PDF: 8 pages
Proc. SPIE 7731, Space Telescopes and Instrumentation 2010: Optical, Infrared, and Millimeter Wave, 77310O (5 August 2010); doi: 10.1117/12.857088
Show Author Affiliations
Takao Nakagawa, Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (Japan)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 7731:
Space Telescopes and Instrumentation 2010: Optical, Infrared, and Millimeter Wave
Jacobus M. Oschmann Jr.; Mark C. Clampin; Howard A. MacEwen, Editor(s)

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