A

David

Darling

Terrestrial Planet Imager

Terrestrial Planet Imager

The Terrestrial Planet Imager is a possible future NASA mission, part of the Origins Program, which would follow on from the Terrestrial Planet Finder (TPF) and produce images of Earth-like planets. To obtain a 25 × 25 pixel image of an exoplanet would call for an array of 5 TPF-class optical interferometers flying in formation. Each interferometer would consist of four 8-meter telescopes to collect light and null it (see nulling interferometry) before passing it to a single 8-meter telescope which would relay the light to a combining spacecraft. The five interferometers would be arranged in a parabola, creating a very long baseline of 6,000 kilometers with the combining spacecraft at the focal point of the array.