Sun-synchronous orbit mission for passively cooled reconnaissance of the interstellar medium

Jonathan W. Campbell, John Fikes, Mark Gerry, Jim McCarter, Harold Blevins, Bill Jones, Don Williams, Holly Chandler, Allen Green, Terri Schmitt, Linda Vestal, Belinda Wright, John Jackson, Greg Schunk, Ken Swaim, Susan Spencer, Charles M. Telesco, Seppo Laine, Tim G. Hawarden, Charles R. TaylorRussell A Chipman, Richard T. Parmley

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


The Marshall Space Flight Center, in a teaming arrangement with the University of Florida- Gainesville and the Joint Astrophysics Laboratory- Hawaii, has completed a comprehensive investigation into the feasibility of a low-cost infrared (IR) space astronomy mission. This mission would map the emission of diatomic hydrogen in our galaxy at two or three previously inaccessible mid-IR wavelengths and provide information on the temperatures. The feasibility of the low-cost mission hinged on whether a thermal design could be found that would allow sufficient passive cooling of the telescope to eliminate the need for a large, expensive dewar. An approach has been found that can provide telescope temperatures on the order of 50 K, which makes the mission feasible at low cost in low-Earth orbit (LEO).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationSpace Programs and Technologies Conference
PublisherAmerican Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics Inc, AIAA
Number of pages10
ISBN (Print)9781623565244
StatePublished - 1995
EventSpace Programs and Technologies Conference, 1995 - Reston, United States
Duration: Sep 26 1995Sep 28 1995

Publication series

Name1995 Space Programs and Technologies Conference


OtherSpace Programs and Technologies Conference, 1995
Country/TerritoryUnited States

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Space and Planetary Science
  • Aerospace Engineering


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