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Future of space astronomy: A global road map for the next decades

Ubertini, Pietro, Gehrels, Neil, Corbett, Ian, de Bernardis, Paolo, Machado, Marcos, Griffin, Matthew Joseph, Hauser, Michael, Manchanda, Ravinder K., Kawai, Nobuyuki, Zhang, Shuang-Nan and Pavlinsky, Mikhail 2012. Future of space astronomy: A global road map for the next decades. Advances in Space Research 50 (1) , pp. 1-55. 10.1016/j.asr.2012.03.009

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The use of space techniques continues to play a key role in the advance of astrophysics by providing access to the entire electromagnetic spectrum from radio to high energy c rays. The increasing size, complexity and cost of large space observatories places a growing emphasis on international collaboration. Furthermore, combining existing and future datasets from space and “ground based” observatories is an emerging mode of powerful and relatively inexpensive research to address problems that can only be tackled by the application of large multi-wavelength observations. While the present set of astronomical facilities is impressive and covers the entire electromagnetic spectrum, with complementary space and “ground based” telescopes, the situation in the next 10–20 years is of critical concern. The James Webb Space Telescope (JWST), to be launched not earlier than 2018, is the only approved future major space astronomy mission. Other major highly recommended space astronomy missions, such as the Wide-field Infrared Survey Telescope (WFIRST), the International X-ray Observatory (IXO), Large Interferometer Space Antenna (LISA) and the Space Infrared Telescope for Cosmology and Astrophysics (SPICA), have yet to be approved for development. A “Working Group on the Future of Space Astronomy” was established at the 38th COSPAR Assembly held in Bremen, Germany in July 2010. The purpose of this Working Group was to establish a Road Map for future major space missions to complement future large “ground based” telescopes. This paper presents the results of this study, including a number of recommendations and a Road Map for the next decades of space astronomy research.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Physics and Astronomy
Subjects: Q Science > QB Astronomy
Publisher: Elsevier
ISSN: 0273-1177
Last Modified: 04 Jun 2017 04:55

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