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NASA’s $ 7 BILLION HabEx telescope goes in search of a ‘second earth’ for 10 years

NASA’s $ 7 BILLION HabEx telescope goes in search of a “second earth” in our Galaxy with a mirror twice as large as that of Hubble

  • NASA will launch a telescope in the 2030s to find a second earth
  • Habex, this $ 7 billion mission, would last at least 10 years
  • The telescope would have a 13 ft wide mirror, compared to Hubbles 7 ft mirror
  • Habex would be accompanied by a starshade to help locate exoplanets

NASA will launch a mission in the 2030s with the aim of finding a “second earth” in our galaxy.

Called Habitable Exoplanet Observatory or HabEx, it would use a telescope with a mirror nearly twice as large as that onboard the Hubble telescope – the mirror is 13 feet wide compared to Hubble’s 7-foot mirror.

HabEx will begin its journey with a companion designed to block the annoying glare of a nearby star so that these exoplanets can search the space for signs of life such as water and carbon dioxide.

The project is one of the four mission concepts proposed by NASA as “the next big observatory,” but with a billion dollars it is the most expensive for seven years while exploring deep space.

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HabEx will begin its journey with a companion designed to block the annoying glare of a nearby star so that these exoplanets can find orbits for vital signs such as water and carbon dioxide (artist impression)

HabEx will begin its journey with a companion designed to block the annoying glare of a nearby star so that these exoplanets can find orbits for vital signs such as water and carbon dioxide (artist impression)

The federal Decadal Survey intends to make a recommendation on which project – if any – should receive funding by 2021.

Scott Gaudi, one of the co-chairmen of the project, said, “Our goal is to see if we can find a planet similar to the earth – one that can sustain life.”

“Although we have identified a number of planets outside of our solar system, none have been conclusively demonstrated so far with the elements needed for habitability.”

The HabEx mirror is 13 feet wide, which is much larger than Hubbles – it is only 7.8 feet wide.

HabEx would use a telescope with a mirror that is nearly twice as large as that on board the Hubble telescope - the mirror is 13 feet wide compared to the 7-foot mirror from Hubble

HabEx would use a telescope with a mirror that is nearly twice as large as that on board the Hubble telescope - the mirror is 13 feet wide compared to the 7-foot mirror from Hubble

HabEx would use a telescope with a mirror that is nearly twice as large as that on board the Hubble telescope – the mirror is 13 feet wide compared to the 7-foot mirror from Hubble

Because the light is usually drowned out by brighter light from nearby stars, HabEx would deflect starlight using the starshade - a 170-foot flower-shaped disc that would go into a tight spiral in the space of origami folded origami

Because the light is usually drowned out by brighter light from nearby stars, HabEx would deflect starlight using the starshade - a 170-foot flower-shaped disc that would go into a tight spiral in the space of origami folded origami

Because the light is usually drowned out by brighter light from nearby stars, HabEx would deflect starlight using the starshade – a 170-foot flower-shaped disc that would go into a tight spiral in the space of origami folded origami

Because the light is usually drowned out by brighter light from nearby stars, HabEx would deflect starlight using the starshade – a 170-foot flower-shaped disc that would go into a tight spiral in the space of origami folded origami.

Once in orbit, the stars would unfold and fly about 47,845 miles from the telescope and the blocking light before it reaches HabEx’s instruments.

The telescope would then travel through the depths of space in search of stars that resemble our sun.

It would examine these cosmic bodies to see if there are orbits around planets that have water or carbon dioxide – two signs that a planet can be habitable.

The telescope would also have a camera that can take pictures of nearby planetary systems.

Those photos would be the first “family portraits” of those systems, Gaudi said.

The telescope would also have additional instrumentation, including a corona paragraph, a device that can also characterize planets outside of our solar system and take pictures of them.

The mission was designed to collect data on exoplanets for about ten years, and the telescope would also conduct other experiments to try to understand more about our own solar system.

WHAT IS THE HUBBLE SPACE TELESCOPE?

The Hubble telescope was launched on April 24, 1990, via the Discovery space shuttle from Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

It is named after the famous astronomer Edwin Hubble who was born in 1889 in Missouri.

He is perhaps most famous for discovering the universe expanding and the speed at which this happens – now the Hubble constant came up.

The Hubble telescope is named after the famous astronomer Edwin Hubble who was born in Missouri in 1889 (photo)

The Hubble telescope is named after the famous astronomer Edwin Hubble who was born in Missouri in 1889 (photo)

The Hubble telescope is named after the famous astronomer Edwin Hubble who was born in Missouri in 1889 (photo)

Hubble has made more than 1.3 million observations since the mission began in 1990 and helped to publish more than 15,000 scientific articles.

It revolves around the earth at a speed of approximately 17,000 mph (27,300 km / h) in a low orbit around the earth at approximately 340 miles in height.

Hubble has the target accuracy of .007 arc seconds, which is similar to being able to beam a laser beam aimed at Franklin D. Roosevelt’s head at an inch about 200 miles (320 km).

The Hubble telescope is named after Edwin Hubble who was responsible for coming up with the Hubble constant and is one of the greatest astronomers of all time

The Hubble telescope is named after Edwin Hubble who was responsible for coming up with the Hubble constant and is one of the greatest astronomers of all time

The Hubble telescope is named after Edwin Hubble who was responsible for coming up with the Hubble constant and is one of the greatest astronomers of all time

Hubble’s primary mirror is 2.4 meters (7 feet, 10.5 inches) wide and a total of 13.3 meters (43.5 feet) long – the length of a large school bus.

Hubble’s launch and deployment in April 1990 was the most important advance in astronomy since Galileo’s telescope.

Thanks to five service missions and more than 25 years of operation, our view of the universe and our place in it has never been the same.

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