NASA has selected a proposed scientific investigation that includes the development of a new spectrograph for the Hubble Space Telescope (HST), Associate Administrator for Space Science Dr. Wesley T. Huntress, Jr., said today (August 12). The estimated cost of the new instrument is about $25 million.
NASA will work with Dr. James C. Green, University of Colorado, Boulder, to negotiate a contract for the new instrument, called the Cosmic Origins Spectrograph (COS). The new spectrographic instrument is planned for installation on the HST by Shuttle astronauts during the fourth servicing mission scheduled for late in 2002.
"The new instrument's capabilities will be a major enhancement to Hubble's spectrographic capabilities at ultraviolet wavelengths," said Dr. Edward Weiler, HST Program Scientist, Washington, DC. "This state-of-the-art spectrograph will be a premier Hubble instrument for most of the first decade of the next century. It will allow astronomers to study the very early Universe and the creation of the heavy elements during the first period of star formation billions of years ago."
Plans call for the COS to be installed into the HST instrument bay in place of COSTAR, the instrument that was successfully installed in 1993 and corrected early instruments for the telescope's optical aberration. More recent instruments include the correction in their design and COSTAR no longer will be needed.
Ball Aerospace Corp., Boulder, CO, is the prime hardware contractor for COS.
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