NASA Begins WFIRST Project
NASA is building a new flagship telescope known as the Wide-Field Infra-Red Survey Telescope. The United States government has already approved US$90 million for the project, which will begin construction this year.
In recognition of government funding, NASA has hastened developments of a powerful telescope that could answer the most fundamental questions about nearby exoplanets and the universe. Paul Hertz, NASA's astrophysics division director, announced during the American Astronomical Society's annual meeting that the Wide-Field Infra-Red Survey Telescope, also known as the WFIRST project, will formally begin construction this year rather than 2017. Hertz made the announcement after the United States Congress increased the project's funding for fiscal year 2016 to US$90 million. This was above President Barack Obama's budget request for US$16 million.
The telescope will have a 2.4-meter mirror that is said to be designed to measure light from nearly 2,600 exoplanets and 400 million galaxies during its primary mission of six years. This project emerged as NASA's top priority after the last decadal survey of astronomers in 2010 that says such a mission would be able to answer important questions.
Over time, the WFIRST project has evolved. It is now being designed to take advantage of a spy satellite donated in 2012 by the National Reconnaissance Office to NASA, and the mission could take about a decade to launch. The modified spy telescope will likely be carrying two instruments during its six-year voyage in space and will be made up of a mirror about the same size as the Hubble telescope. The wide-field instrument will have a field view 100 times greater than Hubble, which enables it to make precise measurements of the location and distance of other galaxies in a short amount of time. In addition, astronomers could observe how the dark energy over time has changed.
During the WFIRST project formulation phase, NASA will be assessing technological needs to complete the goals of the mission. The administration will also be in charge of budget developments, construction timeline, testing and launch. However, Hertz made a warning to NASA's other divisions that budget for other space projects may be pinched for the time being as the US Congress directs budget allocations to the WFIRST project and finalization of a certain James Webb Space Telescope, which is set to launch two years from now.
Meet Airbar, This $99 Gadget Instantly Converts A MacBook Air Into A Touchscreen Computer
Now, any MacBook Air can be a touchscreen notebook with this new Airbar. The scanner of this gadget can scan the whole screen and the hand movement to manipulate the screen contents.
NASA’s Mars Rover Is As Cool As The Batmobile SUV
NASA unveiled a concept for a Mars Rover and it looks a lot like the Batmobile.
Google Co-Founder Sergey Brin Wants To Fly, Secret Airship In The Works
Google co-founder Sergey Brin has been secretly working on an airship inside one of NASA’s Ames hangar, with a former Air Force engineer at the helm. Could this be a pure passion endeavor or is it another Project Calcifer?
HP's Zbook Review: A Laptop That's Lightyears Away From Apple's Ancient Mac Pro
HP's latest workstation flagship is a beast. It easily outshines Apple's Mac Pro on many features.
Astrobees Robots Bound For ISS To Provide Assistance To Astronauts
Astronauts working at the ISS are going to get assistance from friendly cube robots that could fly around the station. The working bots are scheduled to be launched later this year.
NASA Finally Releases Its Raw Data From Our Sister Solar System And Here’s What You Have To Know
Considering that NASA have recently uncovered one of their major discoveries to have ever been made so far, what are the other details that we have to know about our so-called ‘sister solar system’? How habitable are these seven newly discovered planets? Here’s what authorities have to say
MORE IN ITECHPOST
iOS 11 Plagued with Untested Bugs and Early Adoption Pitfalls
Reports of nagging iOS 11 issues have started pouring in just a day after the software was released by Apple on supported devices.
'Tokyo Ghoul' Season 3 Delayed By Its Live-Action Movie? Ken Kenaki Returns With Another Identity?
"Tokyo Ghoul" season 3's release is delayed and there are countless speculations as to why it is being pushed back. Reports claim that the show is to give way to "One Punch Man" and "My Hero Acdemia" but new rumors say that it's lack of materials and storyline as well as its live-action movie are causing the delay.
‘Resident Evil 7: Not A Hero DLC’ First Gameplay Trailer Leaks Online
First gameplay trailer pertaining to RE7: Not A Hero DLC has just leaked on YouTube.