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New Millennium Interferometer





Also known as Space Technology 3, this is the third mission in NASA's New Millennium Program. Its goal is test the technologies and flight concepts needed to carry out space-based optical interferometry – a technique of vital importance in future searches for Earth-sized extrasolar planets as part of the NASA's Origins Program. The New Millennium Interferometer will consist of two spacecraft capable of flying in formation to an accuracy about 1 centimeter when separated by distances ranging from about 2 meters to 1 kilometer. Observations made by the spacecraft will be combined so that the system functions as if it were a single giant telescope of extremely high resolving power. The New Millennium Interferometer will pave the way for more ambitious missions, including the Space Interferometry Mission (SIM), the Terrestrial Planet Finder (TPF), and the Planet Imager (TPI).


Related category

   • SATELLITES AND SPACE PROBES