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6 March 2014 1:04 pm ,
Vol. 343 ,
Magdalena Koziol, a former postdoc at Yale University, was the victim of scientific sabotage. Now, she is suing the...
Antiretroviral drugs can protect people from becoming infected by HIV. But so-called pre-exposure prophylaxis, or PrEP...
Two studies show that eating a diet low in protein and high in carbohydrates is linked to a longer, healthier life, and...
Considered an icon of conservation science, researchers at World Wildlife Fund (WWF) headquarters in Washington, D.C.,...
The new atlas, which shows the distribution of important trace metals and other substances, is the first product of...
Early in April, the first of a fleet of environmental monitoring satellites will lift off from Europe's spaceport in...
Since 2000, U.S. government health research agencies have spent almost $1 billion on an effort to churn out thousands...
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NASA Narrows Possible Uses for Former Spy Telescopes
6 June 2013 5:25 pm
NASA has decided that the best use of two space telescopes gifted to it by the U.S. National Reconnaissance Office (NRO)—an intelligence gathering agency—would be to utilize them in a mission to study dark energy and extrasolar planets. Provided the agency can find the money to fund that mission: the proposed Wide-Field Infrared Survey Telescope (WFIRST).
NASA began mulling what to do with the two 2.4-meter telescopes nearly 2 years ago, after NRO handed the instruments over to the space agency. An initial study by a group of astrophysicists determined that one of the telescopes could be used as a centerpiece of the $1.6 billion WFIRST project, which received top billing among space projects recommended for funding in the most recent U.S. astronomy decadal survey.
Earlier this year, however, NASA hosted a meeting where astronomers and planetary scientists were invited to present other ideas for using the telescopes. There was no dearth of concepts. One idea was to put one of the telescopes in orbit around Mars. Another was to dedicate the instrument to gamma ray astronomy.
After studying all these options, NASA has decided that the only one it wishes to pursue at this time is using the telescope for WFIRST, Paul Hertz, the head of NASA's astrophysics division, announced on Tuesday at the American Astronomical Society meeting in Indianapolis. However, whether WFIRST will happen at all or not remains an open question, he said—and it won't get decided until at least 2016.