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NASA's next mission will focus on the "fingerprints" of the early Universe



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Caltech

NASA has selected the next mission in the Explorers Program of the Space Agency and will give us an insight into the past.

The S pectro P Hot Gauge for the H History of the Universe, E Poch of R ] Eionization and Ices An Ex Plorer mission (SPHEREx) will investigate hundreds of millions of galaxies using both optical and near infrared light. His "eyes" will last up to 1

0 billion years, but researchers can also answer questions about the stars near the Milky Way.

There she will put a cosmic magnifying glass over our baby stars in our home galaxy: In search of the essential ingredients: water and organic molecules.

"This amazing mission will be a unique set of data for astronomers," said Thomas Zurbuchen, Associate Administrator of NASA's Science Mission Directorate.

SPHEREx will be able to create a star chart of the sky in 96 different color areas – an unprecedented resolution – that will provide future NASA missions such as the James Webb Telescope with new targets for further investigation. Every six months, the entire sky is captured "using technologies adapted from Earth satellites and Mars spacecraft."

It is expected to launch in 2023 and will be headed by James Bock of Caltech in collaboration with the Jet Propulsion Laboratory of NASA, Ball, Aerospace and the Korea Astronomy & Space Science Institute.

The mission fought to fund the Explorers program against the Arcus satellite, a high-resolution X-ray observatory that studied galaxies and galaxy clusters proposed by the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory. Over its 60-year history, the program has launched more than 90 missions.

The announcement of the new mission took place on the day that NASA said goodbye to its Mars rover Opportunity which had fallen from a giant dust storm in June 2018. The hearts were heavy and eulogies were written but the selection of SPHEREx and its potential for discovery will hopefully elevate the mood of the stargazers around the world.

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