Spooks to the rescue

Not often I write two posts in one day, but here is an unexpected piece of news. It seems that the US National Reconnaisance Office have given two free telescopes to NASA. Its all explained at this NY Times article. They are as big as HST but have a wider field of view. They were designed for looking down of course.  Apparently there has been a secret study team and their conclusion is that one of these beasts would be perfect WFIRST, which had seemed to be kicked into the long grass.

They don’t exactly have the rest of the money yet or an actual approval … but the WFIRST fans are talking about shooting for 2020 … a year behind Euclid.

Ooooo what fun. Spot of healthy competition.

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7 Responses to Spooks to the rescue

  1. telescoper says:

    Reblogged this on In the Dark and commented:
    Tinker Tailor Soldier…Astronomer?

  2. Ken Leonard says:

    But I’ll bet a year’s salary that Congress is going to screw the whole thing.

  3. Ken Leonard says:

    And, just, BTW, I could love-love-love to get back into AS community to work on one of the build-up-and-launch projects–or maybe on the fly-to-service project (Dragon, anyone?)–or maybe even the new ground station(s), Wow!

  4. Phil Uttley says:

    Be nice if the spooks have found a need for X-ray telescopes in recent years and have a few going spare. Or, perhaps if WFIRST is now a going concern, NASA and ESA would consider not duplicating the same science in the IR and chuck some dosh towards us poor high-energy folks…?

  5. andyxl says:

    Stein Sigurdsson has some more interesting detail on his blog post, and a link to to presentations by Paul Herz and Alan Dressler.

  6. Reblogged this on asubsetofdaves and commented:
    Reminds me of how the UCL rocket programme got started: when the government said “‘Ere, we’ve got all these rockets we’ve been knocking out. Want some?”

    (I think that’s a verbatim quote)

  7. Albert says:

    This could be a poisoned windfall. Couldn’t we offer UKIRT to NASA?

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