AAS 207th Meeting, 8-12 January 2006
Session 23 Future Space Missions
Poster, Monday, 9:20am-7:00pm, January 9, 2006, Exhibit Hall

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[23.02] The Space Infrared Interferometric Telescope (SPIRIT): A Unique Mission for Exploring the Universe

S. A. Rinehart (NASA GSFC), SPIRIT Origins Probe Mission Study Team

The Space Infrared Interferometric Telescope (SPIRIT) was selected for study by NASA as a candidate Origins Probe mission. SPIRIT is a two-telescope Michelson interferometer operating over a nominal wavelength range 25 to 400 \mum, and offering a powerful combination of spectroscopy (\lambda / \Delta\lambda ~3000) and sub-arcsecond angular resolution imaging in a single instrument. With angular resolution two orders of magnitude better than that of the Spitzer Space Telescope, and with comparable sensitivity, SPIRIT will enable us to learn how planetary systems form in protostellar disks, how they acquire their chemical structure, and how they evolve. Further, SPIRIT will be a powerful tool for understanding how the present-day population of galaxies formed and evolved. SPIRIT could be ready to launch as early as 2015.

The author(s) of this abstract have provided an email address for comments about the abstract: Stephen.A.Rinehart@nasa.gov

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