Conceptual drawings for NASA's Wide Field Infrared Survey Telescope (WFIRST). ( NASA Goddard Space Flight Center Concept Lab / Courtesy Image )
Ball Aerospace will play a role in the construction of NASA's next generation Space Telescope.
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"It will get the largest images of the universe we've ever had," said Claire Saravia with NASA's Goddard Space communications office Flight Center in Maryland
The new telescope, which is expected to be ready for approximately $ 3.2 billion in the mid-2020s, is hailed by NASA as the "big-eyed cousin" of the Hubble Space Telescope.
Commenting on the NASA website, WFIRST Research Group spokesman David Spergel said, "A picture of Hubble is a beautiful poster on the wall, while a WFIRST picture covers the entire wall of your house."
Ball technology will help to capture these images.
The company will "Design, analyze, develop, manufacture, integrate, test and evaluate the opto-mechanical wide-field assembly for the WFIRST mission," according to a NASA press release.
The instrument will have the ability to capture 300 megapixel images, which are 100 times larger than the Hubble Space Telescope, with the same level of detail and clarity.
The mission of the telescope, which is expected to be in orbit for six years, will try to answer some basic questions about the nature of the universe.
"To understand how the universe evolved from a hot, unified gas to stars, planets, and humans, we need to examine the beginnings of this process from the early days of the universe," said WFIRST project scientist Jeffrey Kruk in one Statement. "We've learned a lot from other large-scale surveys, but WFIRST will be the most sensitive and give us the deepest view of the past."
In particular, NASA scientists hope to use WFIRST to give insight into why the expansion of the universe seems to be accelerating. According to the agency's website, the telescope will also be able to capture 100 million stars and discover thousands of new planets.
The WFIRST program is not the only collaboration between Ball Aerospace and NASA.
Last month, the company announced that it has completed NASA's next-generation Advanced Polar Orbit Weather Satellite
This project, called the Joint Polar Satellite System, "is the most advanced operational environmental system ever developed by government and industry, and significantly increases the timeliness and accuracy of predictions three to seven days before storm events. "According to an April press release from Ball.
Lucas High: 303-684-5310, lhigh @ times-call. com, twitter.com/lucashigh