In 2027, NASA is expected to launch the next great telescope. It’s being called the Nancy Grace Roman Space Telescope, and it will be a infrared space telescope for studying dark energy and matter.
It looks like development of the Roman Space Telescope is going well – the heart of the telescope was recently delivered to Ball Aerospace in Boulder, Colorado. The heart of the telescope is basically the Focal Plane System (FPS), which will serve as the core of the Roman camera.
Now that it has been delivered, they will integrate the FPS into the Wide Field Instrument. After that, technicians will continue the build by integrating the instruments radiators.
“For optimal performance, the detectors must be operated at minus 288 degrees Fahrenheit, or minus 178 degrees Celsius,” said Greg Mosby, a research astrophysicist and Roman detector scientist at Goddard. “Roman’s detectors are so sensitive that nearby components in the Wide Field Instrument must also be cooled, otherwise their heat would saturate the detectors, effectively blinding the observatory.”
The goal of the radiators on the Nancy Grace Space Telescope will be to redirect waste heat away from the components out into space, ensuring the telescope is sensitive to faint signals.
NASA’s team expects the entire WFI to return to Goddard in Spring 2024.
Image Source: NASA/Chris Gunn