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28 July 2000 Explorer-class astrobiology mission
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In this paper we describe a potential new Explorer-class space mission, the AstroBiology Explorer (ABE), consisting of a relatively modest dedicated space observatory having a 50 cm aperture primary mirror which is passively cooled to T < 65 K, resides in a low-background orbit (heliocenter orbit at 1 AU, Earth drift-away), and is equipped with a suite of three moderate resolution spectrographs equipped with first-order cross-dispersers and large format (1024 X 1024 pixel) near- and mid-IR detector arrays cooled by a modest amount of cryogen.
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