From JPL Caltech: “JPL to Lead U.S. Science Team for Dark Energy Mission”

February 12, 2013

“The European Space Agency (ESA) has selected three NASA-nominated science teams to participate in their planned Euclid mission, including one team led by NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif.

ESA Euclid spacecraft

NASA is a partner in the Euclid mission, a space telescope designed to probe the mysteries of dark energy and dark matter. Euclid is currently scheduled to launch in 2020.

JPL will provide 16 advanced infrared detectors and four spare detectors for one of two instruments planned for the mission. In addition, JPL will contribute to science planning and data analysis with the help of its 43-member science team, the largest of the three U.S. teams. This team, led by JPL scientist Jason Rhodes, is composed of 29 scientists recently nominated by NASA, and 14 U.S. scientists who are already part of Euclid.

Rhodes also was appointed by NASA to be a member of ESA’s principal 12-member Euclid Science Team and the U.S. representative for the Euclid Consortium’s governing body. The Euclid Consortium is an international body of 1,000 members, including the U.S. science team members, and will build the instruments and analyze the science data jointly.

Euclid will observe up to two billion galaxies occupying more than one-third of the sky with the goal of better understanding the contents of our universe. Everyday matter that we see around us, for example in tables and chairs, people and even stars, makes up only a few percent of everything in our cosmos. If you could fill a bucket with the mass and energy contents of our universe, this everyday matter would fill only a small fraction. A larger amount, about 24 percent, would consist of dark matter, an invisible substance that does not reflect or emit any light, but exerts a gravitational tug on other matter.

The other two U.S. science teams are led by Ranga-Ram Chary of the Infrared Processing and Analysis Center at the California Institute of Technology, Pasadena; and Alexander Kashlinsky of NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Md.; with three and seven members, respectively.

See the full article here.

Whitney Clavin 818-354-4673
Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif.
whitney.clavin@jpl.nasa.gov

J.D. Harrington 202-358-5241
NASA Headquarters, Washington
j.d.harrington@nasa.gov

Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) is a federally funded research and development center and NASA field center located in the San Gabriel Valley area of Los Angeles County, California, United States. Although the facility has a Pasadena postal address, it is actually headquartered in the city of La Cañada Flintridge, on the northwest border of Pasadena. JPL is managed by the nearby California Institute of Technology (Caltech) for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. The Laboratory’s primary function is the construction and operation of robotic planetary spacecraft, though it also conducts Earth-orbit and astronomy missions. It is also responsible for operating NASA’s Deep Space Network.

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