1 October 1993 New mission and spacecraft design for the space infrared telescope facility
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Abstract
This paper describes a new mission concept for the Space Infrared Telescope Facility (SIRTF). In this new concept, SIRTF is launched with just enough energy to escape Earth's gravity. This trajectory is equivalent to a 1 astronomical unit (AU) solar orbit with a small drift rate of about 0.1 AU per year away from the Earth. The new concept uses an Atlas IIAS class launch vehicle to place an 85 cm diameter telescope with a 3 year minimum cryogenic lifetime into a solar orbit. There are many advantages of the solar orbit over an Earth orbit. The spacecraft design can be simplified. Communications and operations can be geared to a 24 hour day, although a directional antenna is needed because of the increasing distance from Earth. Additional advantages include the elimination os the need for Earth/Moon avoidance requirements and the ability to view large portions of the sky continuously for weeks or even months.
© (1993) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.
Johnny H. Kwok, Michael G. Osmolovsky, "New mission and spacecraft design for the space infrared telescope facility", Proc. SPIE 2019, Infrared Spaceborne Remote Sensing, (1 October 1993); doi: 10.1117/12.157819; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.157819
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