NASA is going to name its next-generation telescope (WFIRST), concerning Nancy Grace Roman, NASA’s first chief astronomer. Roman made way for space telescopes focusing upon the extensive study of the universe.
The newly named telescope, Roman Space Telescope or Nancy Grace Roman Telescope, will be set to launch by the mid-2020s. The telescope has been made to explore deep understandings about various puzzling astronomical theories, such as the force behind the universe’s expansion and the search of planets beyond the solar system.
According to the “mother” of NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope, it was launched about 30 years from now. Grace Roman also supported new instruments that would assist scientists in exploring the universe. She left behind the scientific association when she died in 2018.
NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine says, “because of Grace Roman’s great leadership and vision that led NASA to become the first to explore in astrophysics and launched Hubble, the world’s first most powerful telescope. I can think of no better name for WFIRST, which will add as the successor to NASA’s Hubble and Webb Telescopes.”
What is WFIRST?
The Wide-Field Infrared Survey Telescope (WFIRST) or the Roman Space Telescope. It has been designed for the further studies of exoplanets, energy and infrared astrophysics. The telescope is like a primary mirror that is of the diameter 2.4 meters (7.9feet) and is of the same size as the Hubble. The telescope will be consisting of two basic instruments, the Wide Field Instrument, and a technology demonstration Coronagraph Instrument.
The design of the telescope is similar to that of the Joint Dark Energy Mission that was between NASA and DOE. Nancy Roman also adds some significant capabilities to the JDEM proposal, including the search for planets beyond the solar system using gravitational microlensing.
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