South Korea’s Ministry of Science and ICT, together with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), would establish a space project to create a space telescope that collects data that could help explore the history of the universe.
According to the Ministry, NASA already accepted the proposed design and model for the project in 2019 after many deliberations. The Spectro-Photometer project for the History of the Universe, Epoch of Reionization and Ices Explorer (SPHEREx) includes a two-year mission that would launch the space telescope.
The Korea Astronomy and Space Science Institute (KASI) joint research with Caltech planned and proposed the space telescope’s design. NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory manages the project and intends to launch between 2024 and 2025. The Propulsion Laboratory receives $242 million to oversee and ensure the project’s successful launching of the telescope.
The project includes NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory and Ball Aerospace and KASI, the only non-U.S. Institute to join the project.
SPHEREx, set to launch by 2024, would apply spectroscopy for mapping the sky four times during its mission and collect data. The telescope would create a database of galaxies, stars, nebulae, and other celestial objects during the mission. The space telescope would assemble a full-sky spectroscopy map in near-infrared and observe 102 near-infrared colors.
Allen Farrington, SPHEREx project manager, commented that the output would resemble a transition from black and white to colored images. The 3D data collected by the telescope could reveal the mysteries of outer space like the universe’s early creation.
According to a KASI researcher, the Institute would also construct a telescope filter and hardware to examine its instruments. The Institute would also give scientific analysis and a cryogenic chamber for testing the telescope.
NASA and Caltech would work together to build the mission payload. On the other hand, Ball Aerospace would provide the spacecraft and mission integration.
South Korea boosted its efforts in space projects recently and aimed to launch its first space rocket in October this year.
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