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16 December 2002 Potential paths in space astronomy over the next 50 years
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We present several scenarios for the development of potential space astronomy missions and instruments over the next fifty years. It has gradually become necessary to extend our planning horizon well beyond the decade scale because of the lengthy development time for ever larger and more complex space missions, especially to enhance the efficient selection of design options for Terrestrial Planet Finder (TPF) and subsequent systems described in NASA's long-term Origins program, such as Life Finder and Planet Imager. Choices between such options should be driven by science goals and priorities, and also by the benefits of coordinating technologies developed in Origins with those needed for other U.S. and international directed-target and survey missions at all wavelengths. Even though there will be inevitable influences of scientific and technical discoveries along the way, sketching out now a variety of possible integrated technology and (to a degree) science roadmaps helps put the potential paths in context, so our early choices may more rapidly lead toward achieving likely science goals in the future.
© (2002) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.
Steven Kilston and John Bally "Potential paths in space astronomy over the next 50 years", Proc. SPIE 4835, Future Research Direction and Visions for Astronomy, (16 December 2002);


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