Wide Field Infrared Survey Telescope
|Mission length||3-5 years|
|Orbit period||1 year|
(Lagrangian point L2)
|Diameter||~1.5 m (4 ft 11 in)|
The Wide Field Infrared Survey Telescope (WFIRST) is a proposed infrared space observatory which was selected by National Research Council committee as the top priority for the next decade of astronomy.
The design of WFIRST is based on one of the proposed designs for the Joint Dark Energy Mission between NASA and DOE. WFIRST adds some extra capabilities to the original JDEM proposal, including a search for extra-solar planets using gravitational microlensing. WFIRST will also attempt to detect the nature of dark energy.
 Science objectives
- Search for dark energy
- Exoplanet statistics
- Guest investigator mode enabling survey investigations of nearby galaxies to answer key questions about their formation and structure.
WFIRST will have a single instrument, being a 144-megapixel HgCdTe focal-plane array with a pixel size of 200 milliarcseconds.
In 2012, another possibility emerged: NASA could use a second-hand National Reconnaissance Office telescope to accomplish a mission like the one planned for WFIRST. NRO offered to donate two telescopes, the same size as the Hubble Space Telescope with a wider field of view.
- National Research Council (2010). New Worlds, New Horizons in Astronomy and Astrophysics. Washington, D.C.: National Research Council. ISBN 0-309-15802-8. Retrieved 27 January 2011.
- WFIRST Wide-Field Infrared Telescope Home Page, http://wfirst.gsfc.nasa.gov/about/
- "Ex-Spy Telescope May Become a Space Investigator - NYTimes.com". 2012-06-04. Retrieved 2012-06-10.
- WFIRST page at Goddard Space Flight Center site
- WFIRST Science Data Center page at the Infrared Processing and Analysis Center (IPAC)
- $1.6 Billion Telescope Would Search Alien Planets and Probe Dark Energy — Space.com