18 July 2016 Infrastructure for large space telescopes
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Abstract
It is generally recognized (e.g., in the National Aeronautics and Space Administration response to recent congressional appropriations) that future space observatories must be serviceable, even if they are orbiting in deep space (e.g., around the Sun–Earth libration point, SEL2). On the basis of this legislation, we believe that budgetary considerations throughout the foreseeable future will require that large, long-lived astrophysics missions must be designed as evolvable semipermanent observatories that will be serviced using an operational, in-space infrastructure. We believe that the development of this infrastructure will include the design and development of a small to mid-sized servicing vehicle (MiniServ) as a key element of an affordable infrastructure for in-space assembly and servicing of future space vehicles. This can be accomplished by the adaptation of technology developed over the past half-century into a vehicle approximately the size of the ascent stage of the Apollo Lunar Module to provide some of the servicing capabilities that will be needed by very large telescopes located in deep space in the near future (2020s and 2030s). We specifically address the need for a detailed study of these servicing requirements and the current proposals for using presently available technologies to provide the appropriate infrastructure.
© 2016 Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE)
Howard A. MacEwen, Howard A. MacEwen, Charles F. Lillie, Charles F. Lillie, } "Infrastructure for large space telescopes," Journal of Astronomical Telescopes, Instruments, and Systems 2(4), 041208 (18 July 2016). https://doi.org/10.1117/1.JATIS.2.4.041208 . Submission:
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