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Wednesday, October 13, 2004

The New 'Spirit' at NASA
No, it's not another Mars rover. SPIRIT is an acronym standing for "Space Infrared Interferometric Telescope." In fact, it will consist of two telescopes moving back and forth on a 40-meter long beam, acting like cars on a space railway, according to this news release from NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center.

The images of the two telescopes will be combined by a fixed instrument located at the center of the beam. If everything goes well, the angular resolution of SPIRIT will be of only 1 second of arc, allowing for far more accurate exploration of distant stars and galaxies than ever before.

However, the project still needs to be approved. If it is, in early 2005, SPIRIT will be launched around 2014. Read either the full news release to be reminded -- once again -- that "looking farther into space is equivalent to seeing back in time" and why, or just look at this summary for selected excerpts and images.
:: posted by Roland Piquepaille, 1:41 PM Comments (0)
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