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AstroBiology Explorer (ABE) MIDEX Mission Concept: Identifying Organic Molecules in Space

Ennico, K. and Sandford, S. and Allamandola, L. and Bregman, J. and Cohen, M. and Cruikshank, D. and Greene, T. and Hudgins, D. and Kwok, S. and Lord, S. and Madden, S. and McCreight, C. and Roellig, T. and Strecker, D. and Tielens, A. and Werner, M. (2003) AstroBiology Explorer (ABE) MIDEX Mission Concept: Identifying Organic Molecules in Space. In: IR Space Telescopes and Instruments. Proceedings of SPIE. No.4850. Society of Photo-optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE) , Bellingham, WA, pp. 1149-1160. ISBN 9780819446299.

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The Astrobiology Explorer (ABE) is a MIDEX mission concept, currently under Concept Phase A study at NASA's Ames Research Center in collaboration with Ball Aerospace & Technologies, Corp., and managed by NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory. ABE will conduct infrared spectroscopic observations to address important problems in astrobiology, astrochemistry, and astrophysics. The core observational program would make fundamental scientific progress in understanding the distribution, identity, and evolution of ices and organic matter in dense molecular clouds, young forming stellar systems, stellar outflows, the general diffuse ISM, HII regions, Solar System bodies, and external galaxies. The ABE instrument concept includes a 0.6 m aperture Ritchey-Chretien telescope and three moderate resolution (R = 2000-3000) spectrometers together covering the 2.5-20 micron spectral region. Large format (1024 x 1024 pixel) IR detector arrays will allow each spectrometer to cover an entire octave of spectral range per exposure without any moving parts. The telescope will be cooled below 50 K by a cryogenic dewar shielded by a sunshade. The detectors will be cooled to ~7.5 K by a solid hydrogen cryostat. The optimum orbital configuration for achieving the scientific objectives of the ABE mission is a low background, 1 AU Earth driftaway orbit requiring a Delta II launch vehicle. This configuration provides a low thermal background and allows adequate communications bandwidth and good access to the entire sky over the ~1.5 year mission lifetime.

Item Type:Book Section
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URLURL TypeDescription
Ennico, K.0000-0002-8847-8492
Greene, T.0000-0002-8963-8056
Additional Information:© 2003 Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE).
Group:Infrared Processing and Analysis Center (IPAC)
Subject Keywords:Astrobiology, infrared, Explorers, interstellar organics, telescope, spectrometer, space, infrared detectors
Series Name:Proceedings of SPIE
Issue or Number:4850
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20190221-110516042
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Official Citation:Kimberly A. Ennico, Scott Sandford, Louis Allamandola, Jesse D. Bregman, Martin Cohen, Dale Cruikshank, Thomas P. Greene, Douglas Hudgins, Sun Kwok, Steven D. Lord, Suzanne Madden, Craig R. McCreight, Thomas L. Roellig, Donald W. Strecker, A. G. G. M. Tielens, and Michael W. Werner "The AstroBiology Explorer (ABE) MIDEX Mission Concept: Identifying Organic Molecules in Space", Proc. SPIE 4850, IR Space Telescopes and Instruments, (5 March 2003); doi: 10.1117/12.461145;
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:93035
Deposited By: George Porter
Deposited On:04 Mar 2019 18:24
Last Modified:16 Nov 2021 16:55

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