NASA awarded its WFIRST contract to Ball Aerospace recently


WFIRST ( Wide Field Infrared Survey Telescope) is going to become a reality as now NASA has begun with awarding contracts for constructions of different vital components. Recently Ball Aerospace has received one of these projects, it was projected as $3.2-billion project.

NASA said that this cost-plus-award-fee contract is going to build WFI( Wide Field Instrument) Opto-Mechanical assembly which will run from around May’18 to June’26. After receiving this contract now, Ball Aerospace has to fulfill and achieve several different milestones. They are required to perform activities like design, integration, testing, fabrication and more. Along with this, they are also expected to provide with an ongoing testing and post equipment delivery work, i.e., Ball will give support to observatory integration, testing and to the pre-launch, launch and different commissioning activities which takes place at the Mission Operations Center.

In the most recent survey of Decadal in 2010 WFIRST was to be a top priority. Ball supports this decadal process, which builds a community consensus for different science priorities.

WFIRST is a mission telescope which is being developed with a primary aim to support exoplanet detection and dark energy research. All the efforts for WFIRST are entirely financed under fiscal 2018 funds currently and will continue to be funded by fiscal 2019 funds after the appropriations have been fixed.

The telescope is set to launch somewhere in between the mid-2020s. It is being designed to support a 2.4-meter full field of view mirror which will also have two scientific instruments along with it. WFI is a camera which is having a 288-megapixel camera and is capable of imaging 0.28 square degree of the sky. It is also a coronagraph, which is usually a device used for blocking direct straight line and facilitates to detect exoplanets.

Once it is in space it observatory position will be at Sun-Earth L2, massive range point where it is designed to image different portion of the sky whose size is 100 times of that Hubble Space Telescopes field view. With this scientist are expecting to survey massive area of the sky and measure the effects of dark matter on the distribution of galaxy. This mission of broad field view will allow getting some never before seen big pictures of the universe. These images are going to help astronomers to explore different mysteries of cosmos which also includes why the expansion of the universe seems that it is accelerating.