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Goddard FKSI Group

Goddard FKSI Group

FKSI

The proposed FKSI (the Fourier-Kelvin Space Interferometer) is a pair of infrared telescopes attached together in space that could determine the chemical makeup of alien planet atmospheres. Such a mission could see planets inside the so-called habitable zone of stars, the region where the temperature is right for liquid water to exist.

The Team


Enhancements to Current FKSI Design Allow for Detection of Earth-radius Planets
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Comparison of Discovery Space for Exoplanets Expected from Major Techniques
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Animations

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FKSI deployment sequence. After FKSI is launched to Earth's L2 - a gravitationally stable point on the side of the Earth away from the Sun - it will deploy its systems sequentially in preparation for its science mission. While observing a distant star, FKSI will typically be slowly rotated about its boresight allowing the 'shape' of the object to be sampled. If the star has a companion - a planet or dim star - rotation about the boresight will yield a particular signature that may be analyzed by scientists here on Earth.

Links

NASA Logo, National Aeronautics and Space Administration