NASA Collaborates With ESA On The Euclid Mission To Study Dark Matter

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The new Euclid mission of the European Space Agency has been set to launch in 2022 and aims to study and research some of the most problematic topics to date, and those are how dark matter and dark energy work. A team of engineers sent by NASA delivered major hardware that will power an instrument that is said to fly on Euclid and put to the test some samples.

New Hardware for Dark Matter Mission

The hardware has been thoroughly designed, crafted and tested by a team of engineers in NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California and at the Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland. The tests were carried on 20 pieces of sensor-chip electronics (SCEs) for Euclid ( 16 designated for the flight instrument and 4 as a backup).

These newly tested pieces of hardware are supposed to function at minus 136 degrees Celsius and will be responsible for amplifying and digitizing the radio waves from light detectors in Euclid’s instrument dubbed the Infrared Spectrometer and Photometer (NISP). The observatory that will be stationed on Euclid will also host a visible-light imaging instrument.

“Even under the best of circumstances, it is extremely challenging to design and build very sensitive and complex electronics that function reliably at very cold operating temperatures,” said Moshe Pniel, the U.S. project manager for Euclid at JPL, who led the team that delivered the sensor-chip electronics. “This truly remarkable team, spread across two NASA centers, accomplished this task under intense schedule pressure and international attention.”

ESA’s Euclid Would Also Observe the Universe

Another task for the Euclid observatory will be to survey and study billions of distant galaxies, distancing from us as quickly as space will expand itself. Researchers concluded that the critical factor in this expansion is dark energy, and by studying it, scientists will be able to determine the process of this intriguing phenomenon.

Euclid will also study the dark matter we all know, and while we don’t actually see it, scientists determined that it is five times more present in the universe than the usual matter that planets and stars are made of.

15 Countries Involved in the New Mission

The Laboratory of Astrophysics of Marseille will action the NISP instrument. ESA and NASA also signed an agreement where 15 countries will contribute to this mission, and the United States will be one of them. NASA will also assign three science groups that will cooperate on the Euclid dark matter mission.

Doris’s passion for writing started to take shape in college where she was editor-in-chief of the college newspaper. Even though she ended up working in IT for more than 7 years, she’s now back to what he always enjoyed doing. With a true passion for technology, Doris mostly covers tech-related topics.