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29 September 1995 Sun-synchronous orbit mission for passively cooled reconnaissance of the interstellar medium
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The Marshall Space Flight Center, Alabama, in a teaming arrangement with the University of Florida, Gainesville, and the Joint Astronomy Center, Hawaii, has completed a comprehensive investigation into the feasibility of a low-cost infrared space astronomy mission. This mission would map the emission of molecular hydrogen in our galaxy at two or three previously inaccessible mid-IR wavelengths, and provide information on the temperatures. The feasibility of the low-cost mission hinged on whether a thermal design could be found which would allow sufficient passive cooling of the telescope to elimiate the need for a large, expensive dewar. An approach has been found which can provide telescope temperatures on the order of 50 K, which makes the mission feasible at low cost in low-Earth orbit.
© (1995) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.


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