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Published July 12, 2008 | Published
Book Section - Chapter Open

THESIS: terrestrial and habitable zone infrared spectroscopy spacecraft


THESIS is a concept for a medium class mission designed for spectroscopic characterization of extrasolar planets between 2-14 microns. The concept leverages off the recent first-steps made by Spitzer and Hubble in characterizing the atmospheres of alien gas giants. Under favourable circumstances, THESIS is capable of identifying biogenic molecules in habitable-zone planets, thereby determining conditions on worlds where life might exist. By systematically characterizing many worlds, from rocky planets to gas-giants, THESIS would deliver transformational science of profound interest to astronomers and the general public.

Additional Information

© 2008 Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). This paper would not be possible without the very important contributions of several JPL technologists who have contributed to a preliminary study of the THESIS concept. The authors are grateful for contributions by A. Abramovici, R. K. Bartman, M. Jeganathan, C. G. Paine & J. Moore.

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