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6 July 2018 HabEx Lite: a starshade-only habitable exoplanet imager alternative
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The HabEx mission concept is intended to directly image planetary systems around nearby stars, and to perform a wide range of general astrophysics and solar system observations. Its main goal is the discovery and characterization of Earthlike exoplanets through high-contrast imaging and spectroscopy. The baseline HabEx concept would use both a coronagraph and a starshade for exoplanet science. We describe an alternative, “HabEx Lite” concept, which would use a starshade (only) for exoplanet science. The benefit is lower cost: by deleting the complex coronagraph instrument; by lowering observatory mass; by relaxing tolerances and stability requirements; by permitting use of a compact on-axis telescope design; by use of a smaller launch vehicle. The scientific penalty of this lower cost option is a smaller number of detected exoplanets of all types, including exoEarth candidates, and a smaller fraction of exoplanets with measured orbits. Our approach uses a non-deployed segmented primary mirror, whose manufacture is within current capabilities.
Conference Presentation
© (2018) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.
David Redding, Keith Coste, Otto Polanco, Claudia Pineda, Kevin Hurd, Howard Tseng, Jose Quezada, Stefan Martin, Joel Nissen, Kevin Schulz, Jonathan Tesch, Eric Cady, Michael Rodgers, Matthew East, James Mooney, and Chris Stark "HabEx Lite: a starshade-only habitable exoplanet imager alternative", Proc. SPIE 10698, Space Telescopes and Instrumentation 2018: Optical, Infrared, and Millimeter Wave, 106980X (6 July 2018);


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