We present an overview of the thermal and mechanical design of the Payload Module (PLM) of the next- generation infrared astronomy mission Space Infrared Telescope for Cosmology and Astrophysics (SPICA). The primary design goal of PLM is to cool the whole science assembly including a 2.5 m telescope and focal-plane instruments below 8 K. SPICA is thereby expected to have very low background conditions so that it can achieve unprecedented sensitivity in the mid- and far-infrared. PLM also provides the instruments with the 4.8 K and 1.8 K stages to cool their detectors. The SPICA cryogenic system combines passive, effective radiative cooling by multiple thermal shields and active cooling by a series of mechanical cryocoolers. The mechanical cryocoolers are required to provide 40 mW cooling power at 4.8 K and 10 mW at 1.8 K at End-of-Life (EoL). End-to-end performance of the SPICA cryocooler-chain from 300 K to 50 mK was demonstrated under the framework of the ESA CryoChain Core Technology Program (CC-CTP). In this paper, we focus on the recent progress of the thermal and mechanical design of SPICA PLM which is based on the SPICA mission proposal to ESA.
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