Fast Infrared Exoplanet Spectroscopy Survey Explorer

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Fast Infrared Exoplanet Spectroscopy Survey Explorer (FINESSE)
FINESSE would provide uniquely detailed atmospheric information on exoplanets
Mission type Space observatory
Operator NASA
Mission duration 2 years
Start of mission
Launch date 2023 (proposed[1])
Launch site Cape Canaveral Air Force Station
Orbital parameters
Reference system Earth-Sun L2 (heliocentric) orbit
Main spectrometer
Diameter 70 cm
Wavelengths Far infrared (80 - 300 μm)

Fast Infrared Exoplanet Spectroscopy Survey Explorer (FINESSE) is a NASA mission proposal for a space observatory in the Explorers program.

The principal investigator is Mark Swain of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California.[2] FINESSE was one of three Medium-Class Explorer mission concepts that received $2 million to conduct a nine-month mission concept study in August 2017.[3] If selected, the mission would last two years.


FINESSE would consist of a space observatory tasked to study exoplanet atmospheres by spectroscopically surveying over 500 planets outside the Solar System with the goal of gaining understanding of the processes responsible for their composition, and how the Solar System fits into the larger family of planets.[1]

Science objectives[edit]

  • Determine key aspects of the planet formation process. FINESSE would obtain the atmospheric composition measurements of metallicity and carbon/oxygen ratio.[1]
  • Determine key factors that establish planetary climate. FINESSE measurements would determine planetary energy budgets from the dayside to the nightside.[1]


FINESSE would measure the atmospheric light spectra of exoplanets transiting or eclipsing their parent star.[1] The proposed spectrometer functions on the 0.5-5.0 μm range, on the far infrared wavelegths of λ/Δλ = 80 at 1.2μm, 300 at 3 μm, and it would use a 75 cm diameter primary mirror.[1]


Further reading and external links[edit]