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NASA is reviewing the WFIRST mission

Unexpected budget cuts may cause a slight delay.
wfirst_space
An artist's depiction of the WFIRST telescope.
NASA/GSFC/Conceptual Image Lab

After establishing an independent review committee earlier this year, NASA announced on June 22 that the committee is looking into costs and scheduling issues with the Wide Field Infrared Survey Telescope (WFIRST) mission.

WFIRST was designed with two main instruments, the Wide Field instrument and the Coronagraph Instrument, to study dark energy, exoplanets, and infrared astrophysics. The Wide Field Instrument is to study light from galaxies and perform a microlensing survey of the Milky Way while the Coronagraph Instrument will take high contrast images.

The telescope is still being developed and was supposed to go into Phase B in October, but was delayed until an independent review could be done and see any recommendations from the report. Moving forward with the mission will depend on the amount of funding it will receive.

Due to budget cuts, the astrophysics program received a lot less than they had originally asked for – about $31 million less, to be exact. The team said NASA sent Congress an operating plan to address the cuts.

Source: SpaceNews

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