The observatory is committed to building telescopes all over the world to enable uninterrupted observations of many types of object, including that of extra solar planets
, supernovae and the optical monitoring of other time-variable sources.
Telescopes, such as NASA's Kepler space telescope, are being used to find so-called extra solar planets
that pass in front of their parent stars, much like Venus will pass by the sun.
Current and planned efforts include research on near-Earth asteroids and extra solar planets
, advocacy of commercial space operations and "scientific diplomacy" missions to Iran and elsewhere.
While a couple of dozen extra solar planets
have been detected by other collaborations, these systems are very unlike our own, and probably not capable of sustaining advanced life forms," maintains Andrew Gould, associate professor of astronomy, Ohio State University.