Terrestrial Planet Finder


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Terrestrial Planet Finder

(TPF) A NASA space observatory planned for launch between 2014 and 2020. It will consist of two observatory spacecraft: one, a coronagraph, will be launched first, followed by a mid-infrared formation-flying interferometer. The observatory's mission is to survey nearby stars in a search for Earth-size planets orbiting the ‘habitable zone’ of their respective stars (the region where water might be able to exist and life night develop). The TPF will then follow up the brightest candidates it detects by subjecting them to spectroscopic analysis (e.g., to detect the chemical makeup of a possible atmosphere). In investigating atmospheric spectra, the craft may discover habitable conditions or even life itself. In addition, TPF is scheduled to conduct a program of high spatial-resolution astrophysics.
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Other and even more precise devices, including NASA's Terrestrial Planet Finder and the European Space Agency's Darwin observatory, are scheduled to launch within the next decade.
That requires a different space telescope - the Terrestrial Planet Finder (TPF).
Waiting in the wings at NASA is a multibillion-dollar design for a huge orbiting instrument called the Terrestrial Planet Finder, originally to have been launched this decade but now on ice due to heavy space science budget cuts.
We still cannot see if it has an atmosphere, and if so whether it contains the telltale gases that indicate the presence of life, but a new generation of orbiting observatories that are planned for the next decade -- NASA's Terrestrial Planet Finder and the European Space Agency's Darwin project -- could give us the answers.
America's Terrestrial Planet Finder and Europe's Darwin, which will consist of a network of several satellites, could be scanning the universe in a decade.
Other sections cover solar telescopes, wavefront sensing and control, mirror technology, NASA's Terrestrial Planet Finder missions, and coronographs.
What we need now are more powerful telescopes, hence the European Space Agency's Darwin and Nasa's Terrestrial Planet Finder projects which could be in orbit within 10 years - although the Nasa project has already been put on hold indefinitely because of budget cuts.
In addition, the European Space Agency's Darwin and NASA's Terrestrial Planet Finder missions are scheduled to launch in the next 10-15 years--with the hope of finding a few dozen terrestrial planets and probing the composition of their atmospheres to search for signs of life.
LBT thus promises to be an important tool in NASA's Terrestrial Planet Finder project, scheduled to launch in just over a decade.
Los datos de estos mundos virtuales podrian ser utiles cuando la NASA lance la proxima generacion de telescopios espaciales, incluido el Terrestrial Planet Finder (TPF).
But when Nasa's Terrestrial Planet Finder and the European Space Agency's Darwin telescopes are launched they could open a whole new treasure trove of planets - possibly including some like our own.
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