Tag Archives: Euclid

NASA instrument for European space telescope flawed and must be rebuilt

The NASA instrument for Europe’s Euclid optical/near-infrared space telescope has been found defective and must be rebuilt, thus delaying the launch of the telescope by at least one year.

What interested me about this telescope is its goals and specifications:

Euclid is a two-ton space telescope selected by ESA in 2011 as a medium-class mission in its Cosmic Vision program of space science missions. The spacecraft features a 1.2-meter telescope with visible and near-infrared instruments to study dark energy and dark matter, which combined account for about 95 percent of the universe. Euclid will operate at the Earth-sun L-2 Lagrange point, 1.5 million kilometers from Earth, that is used by other infrared astronomy missions.

With a mirror about half the size of Hubble’s, this telescope will act as a partial replacement and back up for it. In fact, it will likely make numerous ground-breaking discoveries, as every optical telescope placed above the atmosphere has so far done.

Meanwhile, the article provided no information on the flaws, who built the flawed instrument, and who will pay for the delays its failure will cause.

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NASA has now agreed to contribute equipment and researchers to a European dark energy mission.

The check is in the mail: NASA has now agreed to contribute equipment and researchers to a European dark energy mission.

And why should Europe have any expectation that NASA will follow through? Europe’s ExoMars project was screwed badly when NASA pulled out last year. Nor was that the first time the U.S. government reneged on a deal with Europe.

Considering the fragile nature of the U.S. federal budget, I wouldn’t depend on anything from NASA or any U.S. government agency for the foreseeable future. And this includes the various private space companies such as SpaceX and Orbital Sciences that are using NASA subsidies to build their spaceships. Get those things built, and quickly! The government money could disappear very soon.

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