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The Terrestrial Planet Finder and Darwin MissionsBoth in the United States and in Europe, teams of scientists and engineers are exploring the feasibility of the Terrestrial Planet Finder (TPF) and Darwin missions, which are designed to search for Earth-like planets in the habitable zone of nearby stars. In the US, the TPF Science Working Group is studying four options - small (4m by 6 m primary mirror) and large (4m by 10 m primary mirror) coronagraphs for planet detection at visible wavelengths, and structurally connected and free-flyer interferometers at thermal infrared wavelengths. The US TPF-SWG is charged with selecting an option for NASA by the end of 2006. In Europe the Darwin Terrestrial Exo-planet Advisory Team (TE- SAT) is exploring the free-flyer interferometer option only at this time. I will discuss the vurtures and difficulties of detecting and characterizing extra-solar planets in both wavelength regions as well as some of the technical challenges and progress in the past year.
Document ID
Document Type
Conference Paper
Danchi, William C. (NASA Goddard Space Flight Center Greenbelt, MD, United States)
Date Acquired
August 21, 2013
Publication Date
January 1, 2004
Subject Category
Lunar and Planetary Science and Exploration
Distribution Limits
Work of the US Gov. Public Use Permitted.