NASA and the European Space Agency have agreed to work together on a new mission to the starlight planet that could potentially help astronomers and space engineers better understand the dark side of the universe.
The European Space Telescope and Wide-Field Infrared Survey Explorer (WFIRST) is expected to launch in 2022.
The mission will be a joint venture between NASA and ESA.
“WFIRSST is a big step in bringing science to the surface of a planet and, in turn, to the dark,” said Phil Plait, head of science for the International Astronomical Union, in a statement.
“The collaboration between NASA, ESA, and WFIRST is an important first step towards bringing these exciting new discoveries to the forefront of the space age.”
The telescope is the culmination of more than two decades of research by NASA, European Space Operations Center, the European Commission, and the Italian Space Agency (ESI).
The European space agency, however, is the one that launched the first WFIRS, and it has a deep stake in the project.
“We’re proud of WFIRES and its mission,” said Joaquim Bains, the head of the ESA’s astrophysics division.
“ESA and NASA have a long history of collaboration on space exploration.
They are making progress on this mission, and we are looking forward to further cooperation.”
NASA is hoping to have a WFIRSTER in place for a launch in 2021, with a follow-up mission to follow in 2022 to look for evidence of the elusive Higgs boson.
The discovery of the Higgs Boson was one of the key goals of the WFIRSET mission, which was initiated in 2010.
It has since been followed up by other experiments.
In 2020, the WIPO and WUWT collaborations confirmed that the H, the subatomic particle that has fueled our universe, is not in fact made of protons and neutrons.
The WFIRSTAR mission is aimed at providing a more comprehensive view of the dark matter and dark energy that underlie our universe.
WFIRSTRESS will be launching on a European rocket from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan in 2021.
The probe will then travel about 12.8 billion kilometers (8.2 billion miles) to the constellation Cygnus.
The journey will take it through the constellation of Orion, which is also named after the Greek goddess of the hunt.
In 2021, the mission will measure the amount of the heavy elements heavier than iron in the interstellar medium.
That will give scientists a better picture of the composition of the material that surrounds us.
“Our next step is to take the next step,” said Jean-Pierre Riva, head, mission science and mission operations at NASA’s Ames Research Center in Moffett Field, California.
“To find out more about dark matter, we will look for new and better ways to detect it.
We’ll be looking at how the dark energy is changing the composition and structure of the interstellar space.”
WFIREST will launch on a Japanese rocket from Baikonskoye in Russia in 2021 and arrive at its destination, the star Vela.
The telescope will be built to last until 2026, with an orbital window of just under three years.
The first WIRST observations will be made in 2021 as the spacecraft is flying by the star, where the telescope will observe a supernova remnant.
“Vela is a bright star, which gives us a good chance to get a good look at WFIRSSESS,” said the mission team.
“A supernova can be detected in the telescope when it’s at the right distance.”
The data will be used to investigate the possibility that the supernova was a result of a collision between a young, supermassive black hole and a nearby neutron star.
The star’s intense gravity will make the neutron star unstable and the supermassive star can explode, causing a superheated explosion.
Astronomers will then use the data to look at dark matter.
A paper describing the observations and other data collected by WFIRSt is due out in early 2022.
“What WFIRISSESS has done so far is really exciting, and a big milestone in the history of astronomy,” said David Shear, an astronomer at the University of California, Santa Cruz, who was not involved in the mission.
“It’s really the first time we’re going to get data that’s going to allow us to say, ‘Okay, the dark is actually there.'”
The WIRSTRESS mission was launched in March 2021 and was the first of five major WFIR STREAM missions, launched in 2024, 2025, and 2027.
The other missions included the WIRSET mission in 2019, WIRTRES and WIRES2 in 2020, and NIRVIS in 2019.
The team of astronomers are still in the process of planning a final WFIR STRESS mission.
In May, NASA