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Pandora Mission To Study Stars and Exoplanets Passes Crucial Step


Published on: January 17, 2022,

Pandora is a mission concept which helps to decode atmospheric mysteries of distant world in our galaxies. It is co led by national laboratory and a NASA flight center. It has passed a crucial step as NASA approved mission to continue toward flight. The mission will study approximately 20 stars and exoplanets by analyzing starlight that passes through exoplanets’ atmosphere using a technique called transit spectroscopy.


Pandora will free signals to understand which are from exoplanets atmosphere and which are from starspots, stellar phenomena that are similar to sunspots and can contaminate date. It will work on the basis of data obtained with NASA’s James Webb Space telescope which was launched on Christmas day.


Over the next 21 months, Pandora will mature its mission concepts and demonstrate that half meter telescope is ready for flight. “This is a huge step because even while its small satellite Pandora will deliver impactful science for NASA’s astrophysics program,” said Ben Bahney LLNL’s program leader for Space Science and Security. The mission will be developed under $ 20 million cost cap.


Pandora is led by Elisa Quintana principal investigator at GSFC and Supsinskas at LLNL. Co-investigators from NASA Ames and several universities will provide scientific contributions to the project. It is expected to launch in late 2024 or early 2025.













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