28 June 2006 SIM-PlanetQuest: progress report
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Abstract
SIM-PlanetQuest is a NASA astrophysics mission that is implementing the National Research Counsel's recommended Astrometric Interferometry Mission (AIM) to develop the first, in-space, optical, long-baseline Michelson Stellar Interferometer for performing micro-arcsecond-level astrometry. This level of astrometric precision will enable characterization of planetary systems around nearby stars and enable a number of key investigations in astrophysics including calibration of the cosmological distance scale, stellar and galactic structure and evolution, and dark matter/energy distribution. This paper provides an update on the SIM-PlanetQuest Mission covering the results of the 2005 mission redesign and the recent completion of the last in a series of technology "gates." The SIM-PlanetQuest mission redesign was directed by NASA to recover eroded mass and power margins and to meet specific implementation cost targets. The resulting mission redesign met all redesign objectives with minimal impact to mission science performance. This paper provides the mission redesign objectives and describes the resulting mission and system design including changes in science capability. SIM-PlanetQuest also completed the last of eight major technology development gates that were established in 2001 by NASA, completing the enabling technology development. The technology development program, the last gate, and its significance to the project's flight verification and validation (V&V) approach are briefly described (covered in more detail in a separate paper at this conference). An update on project programmatic status and plans is also provided.
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James C. Marr, "SIM-PlanetQuest: progress report", Proc. SPIE 6268, Advances in Stellar Interferometry, 626822 (28 June 2006); doi: 10.1117/12.670512; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.670512
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