Observing the depths of the cosmos and discovering its secrets is possible only with the help of space probes and telescopes. Therefore, in the future we must invest as much as possible in them, otherwise we will stand still.
Sending a large telescope into space is an extremely breakneck task. NASA could find out about it when it wanted to put the Hubble Space Telescope in orbit. The defect, which originated on Earth, but it was only discovered in space, could have caused one of the greatest projects of humanity could end in one big failure, and worth nearly $ 3 billion.
However, Americans have a solution worthy of 21st century technology. NASA has just invested in a space telescope project, which after reaching orbit, will itself consist of dozens of parts. To maximize the cost of building such new-generation telescopes, individual plant components will be sent into space on various missions.
When the individual parts arrive at point L2, a special robot will put them together to form a telescope. If any unforeseen problems occur, the next components will be sent to space again and the robot will take care of their assembly.
The instrument will consist of dozens of hexagonal modules about a meter wide. The entire telescope will have a mirror diameter of over 30 meters and be the largest of its kind in history. Interestingly, the Webb Space Telescope, which will be in space within 2 years, boasts a mirror diameter of "just" 6.5 meters, and will be the most powerful in history.
The project was just in the first phase of the NASA Innovative Advanced Concepts (NIAC) program. The folding telescope system was prepared by engineers from Cornell University. NASA has invested $125,000 in the preparation of an accurate concept for implementing this solution in practice.
"We will be able to afford further and better observations than ever before. We may even see the surface of an extrasolar planet" said Jason Peck, professor of mechanical and aeronautical engineering at Cornell University and former chief technology officer at NASA.