NASA will launch a new space telescope in 2023 to look for life’s ingredients and probe how the universe evolved. This will embark a two year mission plan. The mission is being called SPHEREx with a funding of $242 million i.e., roughly Rs. 1,700 crores. There are three parts of the mission, namely The Spectro-Photometer for the History of the Universe, Epoch of Reionisation and Ices Explorer or SPHEREx, in short. The telescope will make a survey of the sky and space in optical as well as near-infrared light.
In a statement, NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine said, “I’m really excited about this new mission.”
“Not only does it expand the US’ powerful fleet of space-based missions dedicated to uncovering the mysteries of the universe, it is a critical part of a balanced science programme that includes missions of various sizes,” he said.
Thomas Zurbuchen, associate administrator for NASA’s Science Mission Directorate stated that this mission will be a “treasure trove of unique data for astronomers”. It will be used to survey several millions of galaxies, some so far that their light takes 10 billion years to reach Earth.
“It will deliver an unprecedented galactic map containing ‘fingerprints’ from the first moments in the universe’s history. And we’ll have new clues to one of the greatest mysteries in science: What made the universe expand so quickly less than a nanosecond after the big bang?” added Zurbuchen.