A Caltech Library Service

Origins space telescope: from first light to life

Wiedner, M. C. and Aalto, S. and Armus, Lee and Bergin, E. and Birkby, J. and Bradford, C. M. and Burgarella, D. and Caselli, P. and Charmandaris, V. and Cooray, A. and De Beck, E. and Desert, J. M. and Gerin, M. and Goicoechea, J. and Griffin, M. and Hartogh, P. and Helmich, F. and Hogerheijde, M. and Hunt, L. and Karska, A. and Kral, Q. and Leisawitz, D. and Melnick, G. and Meixner, M. and Matsuura, M. and Milam, S. and Pearson, C. and Pesce, D. W. and Pontoppidan, K. M. and Pope, A. and Rigopoulou, D. and Roellig, T. and Sakon, I. and Staguhn, J. and Stevenson, K. (2021) Origins space telescope: from first light to life. Experimental Astronomy, 51 (3). pp. 595-624. ISSN 0922-6435. doi:10.1007/s10686-021-09782-0.

[img] PDF - Published Version
Creative Commons Attribution.

[img] PDF - In Press Version
Creative Commons Attribution.


Use this Persistent URL to link to this item:


The Origins Space Telescope (Origins) is one of four science and technology definition studies selected by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) in preparation of the 2020 Astronomy and Astrophysics Decadal survey in the US. Origins will trace the history of our origins from the time dust and heavy elements permanently altered the cosmic landscape to present-day life. It is designed to answer three major science questions: How do galaxies form stars, make metals, and grow their central supermassive black holes from reionization? How do the conditions for habitability develop during the process of planet formation? Do planets orbiting M-dwarf stars support life? Origins operates at mid- to far-infrared wavelengths from ~ 2.8 μm to 588 μm, and is more than 1000 times more sensitive than prior far-IR missions due to its cold (~ 4.5 K) aperture and state-of-the-art instruments.

Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription
Wiedner, M. C.0000-0003-3912-7095
Armus, Lee0000-0003-3498-2973
Bergin, E.0000-0003-4179-6394
Birkby, J.0000-0002-4125-0140
Bradford, C. M.0000-0001-5261-7094
Burgarella, D.0000-0002-4193-2539
Caselli, P.0000-0003-1481-7911
Charmandaris, V.0000-0002-2688-1956
Cooray, A.0000-0002-3892-0190
De Beck, E.0000-0002-7441-7189
Desert, J. M.0000-0002-0875-8401
Gerin, M.0000-0002-2418-7952
Hartogh, P.0000-0002-9550-6551
Helmich, F.0000-0002-2972-2088
Hogerheijde, M.0000-0001-5217-537X
Hunt, L.0000-0001-9162-2371
Karska, A.0000-0001-8913-925X
Kral, Q.0000-0001-6527-4684
Meixner, M.0000-0002-0522-3743
Matsuura, M.0000-0002-5529-5593
Milam, S.0000-0001-7694-4129
Pearson, C.0000-0001-6139-649X
Pesce, D. W.0000-0002-5278-9221
Pontoppidan, K. M.0000-0001-7552-1562
Pope, A.0000-0001-8592-2706
Rigopoulou, D.0000-0001-6854-7545
Sakon, I.0000-0001-7641-5497
Staguhn, J.0000-0002-8437-0433
Stevenson, K.0000-0002-7352-7941
Additional Information:© The Author(s) 2021. This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons licence, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article's Creative Commons licence, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article's Creative Commons licence and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this licence, visit Received 04 March 2021; Accepted 31 March 2021; Published 13 September 2021. The study was largely funded by National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), which allowed us to hire engineering staff, subcontract parts of the study to industry and to pay for travel and meetings. The non-American team members are grateful for funding from their respective space agency and/or their research institute, in particular Centre National de Recherche Scientifiques (CNES), Swedish National Space Agency, Netherlands Institute for Space Research (SRON), Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA). A large team of people carried out the Origins Space Telescope study. The Science and Technology Definitions Team (consisting of 25 American voting members, and 14 international non-voting members) defined the satellite in open meetings with additional interested scientists joining in the discussions, and the NASA/GSFC Study Center Engineering Design team carried out a preliminary design. There were also US industry studies and advice, as well as a Study Advisory Board. Margaret Meixner and Asantha Cooray are the joint P.I.s of the study.(Martina Wiedner is the instrument lead of the mostly European HERO study and design.) The Origins Space Telescope is a study commissioned by NASA and carried out by researchers, industry and NASA staff and has been summarized in the Origins Space Telescope Concept Study Report. The study has also been published in about 15 papers in the Journal of Astronomical Telescopes, Instruments and Systems (JATIS). This White Paper, submitted in response to the ESA Voyage 2050 Call, is based on the Origins study and reuses some figures and tables from the Study Report and the JATIS papers, in particular from Meixner et al. [15] , Leisawitz et al. [14] and Wiedner et al. [26], all of which were published under Creative Commons (CC BY 4.0) Gold Open Access (
Group:Infrared Processing and Analysis Center (IPAC)
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Centre National d'Études Spatiales (CNES)UNSPECIFIED
Swedish National Space AgencyUNSPECIFIED
Netherlands Institute for Space ResearchUNSPECIFIED
Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA)UNSPECIFIED
Subject Keywords:Spaceborn astrophysics; Mm- and sub-mm astronomy; Galaxy evolution; Star and planet formation; Exoplanets; ESA Voyage2050
Issue or Number:3
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20211123-180742867
Persistent URL:
Official Citation:Wiedner, M.C., Aalto, S., Armus, L. et al. Origins space telescope: from first light to life. Exp Astron 51, 595–624 (2021).
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:112007
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:23 Nov 2021 18:45
Last Modified:23 Nov 2021 18:45

Repository Staff Only: item control page