Two former spy telescopes are now being scrutinized by NASA for use in a new scientific space mission, which would study mysterious dark energy, according to a senior official involved in the project.
The satellites given to NASA by the National Reconnaissance Office intelligence agency, could be used in a project named WFIRST-AFTA (the Wide Field Infrared Survey Telescope-Astrophysics Focused Telescope Assets). The launch date is planned for around a year 2024, a report by Space.com says.
The aims of the WFIRST-AFTA project are reportedly ranging from studying dark energy, which is thought to be accelerating the expansion of the universe, to a search for exoplanets (planets that orbit a star other than the sun).
The two former spy telescopes considered for use in this mission have the same resolution as NASA’s famous Hubble Space Telescope, but a field view, which is 200 times wider.