This list contains proposals for space telescopes, space-based (situated in space) astronomical observatories. It is a list of past and present space observatory plans, concepts, and proposals. For observatories in orbit, see list of space telescopes. Unlike that list, this one includes concepts and proposals that are unlikely ever to be launched, as they may have been cancelled or were only proposals.

Space observatories under development

Name Agency Type Proposed
launch date
Status Proposed location Ref(s)
TOLIMAN NASA visible 2024[needs update] Proposal Low Earth orbit [1]
Xuntian CNSA ultraviolet, visible, infrared 2026 under construction Low Earth orbit [2]
PLATO ESA visible 2026 Under construction Sun-Earth L2 Lagrange point
Nancy Grace Roman Space Telescope (formerly WFIRST) NASA infrared 2026-2027 confirmed and named 2020 Sun-Earth L2 Lagrange point [3][4]
Spektr-UV (WSO-UV) Roscosmos ultraviolet 2030 funded Geosynchronous orbit [5][6]
LiteBIRD JAXA millimeter radio 2032 Approved for development Sun-Earth L2 Lagrange point [7][8]
AXIS (Advanced X-Ray Imaging Satellite) NASA X-Ray 2032 early planning Low Earth orbit

[9]

Taiji CNSA/CAS gravitational waves 2033 phase 1 of 3-phase development completed Heliocentric orbit [10][11]
Laser Interferometer Space Antenna (LISA) ESA gravitational waves 2037 Approved for development Solar Earth-trailing orbit (approx. 1 AU) [12]
AstroSat-2 ISRO Near Ultraviolet, Far Ultraviolet, Visible TBD Low Earth orbit [13]
Habitable Worlds Observatory (HWO) NASA Ultraviolet, Visible, Infrared 2041 early planning 'Phase 1' Sun-Earth L2 Lagrange point

[14]

X-Ray Great Observatory (nicknamed Fire) NASA X-Ray 2047 early planning 'Phase 1' possibly Sun-Earth L2 Lagrange point

[14]

Far-Infrared Great Observatory (nicknamed Smoke) NASA Far-Infrared 2051 early planning 'Phase 1' possibly Sun-Earth L2 Lagrange point

[14]

Merged, cancelled, or superseded space observatories

Name Agency Type Proposed
launch date
Status Proposed location Ref(s)
X-Ray Evolving Universe Spectroscopy Mission (XEUS) ESA X-ray Merged into IXO [15]
Constellation-X NASA X-ray
International X-ray Observatory (IXO) NASA & ESA & JAXA X-ray No funding 2011; rebooted as ATHENA [16]
Exoplanetary Circumstellar Environments and Disk Explorer (EXCEDE) NASA ? 2016 Sun-synchronous Earth orbit, 2000 km [17][18]
SIM Lite Astrometric Observatory NASA ? 2015 No funding 2010 [19]
Darwin Mission ESA ? Sun-Earth L2 Lagrange point [20]
Terrestrial Planet Finder NASA ? TBA No funding 2011 [21]
Dark Universe Observatory NASA ? Superseded by Roman/WFIRST Earth orbit (600 km) [22][23]
Joint Dark Energy Mission NASA & DOE ? [24]
Astromag Free-Flyer (Particles) NASA ? 1 January 2005 Earth orbit (500 km) [25][26]
VSOP-2 (Astro-G) (Radio) JAXA ? 2012 Cancelled 2011 [27]
SAFIR NASA far infrared Superseded by Origins Sun-Earth L2 Lagrange point ref?

Additional examples and non-space telescopes

For launch in the 2030s, NASA is evaluating four possible designs: the Origins Space Telescope, Lynx X-ray Observatory, Habitable Exoplanets Observatory (HabEx), and Large UV Optical Infrared Surveyor (LUVOIR).[28]

Balloon-borne telescopes have been in use since the 1950s. A 20–30 meter balloon telescope has been suggested.[29] The balloon would be transparent on one side, and have a circular reflecting mirror on the other side.[29] There are two main designs using this principle.[29]

Additional examples

8 meter segmented LUVOIR-B (formerly ATLAST) telescope
ATLAST produced several versions for the LUVOIR telescope

See also

References

  1. ^ "The TOLIMAN mission: precision astrometry for exoplanetary discovery in the solar neighborhood" (PDF). Archived (PDF) from the original on 17 November 2021. Retrieved 20 November 2021.
  2. ^ "China's giant Xuntian space telescope faces further delay until late 2026". South China Morning Post. 16 May 2024. Retrieved 23 June 2024.
  3. ^ "NASA Awards Launch Services Contract for Roman Space Telescope". NASA (Press release). 19 July 2022. Retrieved 19 July 2022.
  4. ^ Balzer, Ashley (9 November 2021). "NASA's Roman Mission Will Help Empower a New Era of Cosmological Discovery". NASA. Retrieved 10 November 2021.
  5. ^ "В Институте астрономии РАН заявили, что обсерваторию "Спектр-УФ" не запустят до 2030 года" [The Institute of Astronomy of the Russian Academy of Sciences said that the Spektr-UV observatory will not be launched until 2030]. TASS (in Russian). 21 December 2023. Retrieved 27 December 2023.
  6. ^ Zak, Anatoly (30 December 2022). "Spektr-UF | Russian ultraviolet astronomy's long road to space". RussianSpaceWeb. Retrieved 12 March 2023.
  7. ^ "The origin of the Universe will be unveiled by the LiteBIRD cryogenic satellite". Grenoble Alpes University. 3 July 2023. Retrieved 26 December 2023.
  8. ^ Concept design of the LiteBIRD satellite for CMB B-mode polarization. Y. Sekimoto; P. Ade; K. Arnold; J. Aumont; J. Austermann, etal. Proceedings Volume 10698, Space Telescopes and Instrumentation 2018: Optical, Infrared, and Millimeter Wave; 106981Y (2018) doi:10.1117/12.2313432 Event: SPIE Astronomical Telescopes + Instrumentation, 9 August 2018, Austin, Texas, United States.
  9. ^ Reynolds, Christopher; et al. (1 November 2023). "Overview of the advanced x-ray imaging satellite (AXIS)". In Siegmund, Oswald H.; Hoadley, Keri (eds.). UV, X-Ray, and Gamma-Ray Space Instrumentation for Astronomy XXIII. p. 49. arXiv:2311.00780. doi:10.1117/12.2677468. ISBN 978-1-5106-6570-5.
  10. ^ Cyranoski, David (9 March 2016). "Chinese gravitational-wave hunt hits crunch time". Nature. Retrieved 23 June 2024.
  11. ^ "China's first step towards probing the expanding universe and the nature of gravity using a space borne gravitational wave antenna". Nature. 24 February 2021. Retrieved 27 June 2024.
  12. ^ "LISA | Mission Summary". ESA. 8 November 2021. Retrieved 10 November 2021.
  13. ^ "Isro plans to launch India's 2nd space observatory". The Times of India. 19 February 2018.
  14. ^ a b c Bruce Dominey (27 January 2023). "After Webb? NASA Is Already Planning New Great Space Observatories". Forbes. Retrieved 27 January 2023.
  15. ^ "KEUS – The X-Ray Evolving Universe Spectroscopy Mission". ESA. Retrieved 28 February 2008.
  16. ^ "Official NASA IXO Home Page". NASA. Archived from the original on 14 August 2012. Retrieved 28 February 2008.
  17. ^ "EXCEDE Home Page". University of Arizona. Archived from the original on 19 February 2012. Retrieved 23 February 2012.
  18. ^ "EXCEDE the Search for Planets". Astrobiology Magazine. 17 February 2012. Archived from the original on 2 May 2012. Retrieved 23 February 2012.((cite web)): CS1 maint: unfit URL (link)
  19. ^ "SIM Lite JPL". NASA. Archived from the original on 16 January 2007. Retrieved 19 March 2009.
  20. ^ "ESA Science & Technology: Darwin". ESA. Retrieved 28 February 2008.
  21. ^ "Planet Quest: Missions – Terrestrial Planet Finder". NASA. Archived from the original on 18 February 2008. Retrieved 3 March 2008.
  22. ^ "Dark Universe Observatory". Sonoma State University. Archived from the original on 5 December 2004. Retrieved 29 February 2008.
  23. ^ "Dark Universe Observatory – About the Launch Vehicle and Orbit". Sonoma State University. Archived from the original on 5 December 2004. Retrieved 29 February 2008.
  24. ^ "Destiny JDEM Mission Public Page". National Optical Astronomy Observatory. Retrieved 28 February 2008.
  25. ^ "NASA – NSSD – Spacecraft – Trajectory Details (Astromag FF)". NASA. Retrieved 27 February 2008.
  26. ^ "NASA – NSSDC – Spacecraft – Details (Astromag-F)". NASA. Retrieved 27 February 2008.
  27. ^ "VSOP-2 project". JAXA. Retrieved 28 February 2008.
  28. ^ Scoles, Sarah. "NASA Considers Its Next Flagship Space Telescope". Scientific American. Retrieved 31 March 2016.
  29. ^ a b c Hall, Loura (3 May 2016). "Ballooning Expectations: New Approach for Astronomy". Nasa.gov. Retrieved 11 August 2017.
  30. ^ Dunn, Marina Madeline; Lesser, David; O'Dougherty, Stephan; Swift, Brandon; Pat, Terrance; Cortez, German; Smith, Steve; Goldsmith, Paul; Walker, Christopher K. (January 2017). "TeraHertz Space Telescope (TST)". AAS. 229: 238.30. Bibcode:2017AAS...22923830D.
  31. ^ "Habitable Exoplanet Observatory (HabEx)". www.jpl.nasa.gov. Retrieved 9 October 2019.
  32. ^ University of Arizona (2 August 2019). "A new lens for life-searching space telescopes - University of Arizona researchers have designed a new kind of telescope that is a cheaper, lighter and more powerful option than creating telescopes using ever-larger mirrors. With a fleet of the newly designed space telescopes, they aim to scour a thousand potentially earth-like planets for signs of life". EurekAlert!. Retrieved 5 August 2019.
  33. ^ Apai, Dániel; Milster, Tom D.; Kim, Dae Wook; Bixel, Alex; Schneider, Glenn; Liang, Ronguang; Arenberg, Jonathan (29 July 2019). "A Thousand Earths: A Very Large Aperture, Ultralight Space Telescope Array for Atmospheric Biosignature Surveys". The Astronomical Journal. 158 (2): 83. arXiv:1906.05079. Bibcode:2019AJ....158...83A. doi:10.3847/1538-3881/ab2631. hdl:10150/634070. S2CID 186206769.
  34. ^ Apai, D.; et al. (2018). "Nautilus DeepSpace Observatory: A Giant Segmented Space Telescope Array for a Galactic Biosignature Survey" (PDF). Universities Space Research Association. Retrieved 5 August 2019.
  35. ^ "M. Wong, et al. – A Dedicated Space Observatory for Time-domain Solar System Science" (PDF). Lpi.usra.edu. Retrieved 11 August 2017.
  36. ^ "Space Telescopes".
  37. ^ "NASA Considers Sending a Telescope to Outer Solar System - Universe Today". Universitytoday.com. 19 December 2011. Retrieved 11 August 2017.
  38. ^ "ZEBRA". Zebra.caltech.edu. Archived from the original on 23 September 2012. Retrieved 11 August 2017.