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29 July 2016 Microarcsecond astrometric observatory Theia: from dark matter to compact objects and nearby earths
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Theia is a logical successor to Gaia, as a focused, very high precision astrometry mission which addresses two key science objectives of the ESA Cosmic Vision program: the nature of dark matter and the search for habitable planets. Theia addresses a number of other science cases strongly synergistic with ongoing/planned missions, such as the nature of compact objects, motions of stars in young stellar clusters, follow-up of Gaia objects of interest. Theia s "point and stare" operational mode will enable us to answer some of the most profound questions that the results of the Gaias survey will ask. Extremely-high-precision astrometry at 1-μas level can only be reached from space. The Theia spacecraft, which will carry a 0.8-m telescope, is foreseen to operate at L2 for 3,5 years. The preliminary Theia mission assessment allowed us to identify a safe and robust mission architecture that demonstrates the mission feasibility within the Soyuz ST launch envelope and a small M-class mission cost cap. We present here these features of the mission that has been submitted to the last ESA M4 call in January 2015.
© (2016) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.
Fabien Malbet, Alain Léger, Guillem Anglada Escudé, Alessandro Sozzetti, Douglas Spolyar, Lucas Labadie, Mike Shao, Berry Holl, Renaud Goullioud, Antoine Crouzier, Céline Boehm, and Alberto Krone-Martins "Microarcsecond astrometric observatory Theia: from dark matter to compact objects and nearby earths", Proc. SPIE 9904, Space Telescopes and Instrumentation 2016: Optical, Infrared, and Millimeter Wave, 99042F (29 July 2016);

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