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Paper: The Next-Generation Infrared Astronomy Mission SPICA
Volume: 418, AKARI, a Light to Illuminate the Misty Universe
Page: 375
Authors: Nakagawa, T.; the SPICA team
Abstract: SPICA (Space Infrared Telescope for Cosmology and Astrophysics) is an astronomical mission optimised for mid- and far-infrared astronomy with a cryogenically cooled 3.5 m telescope. Its high spatial resolution and unprecedented sensitivity in the mid- and far-infrared will enable us to address a number of key problems in present-day astronomy, ranging from the star-formation history of the universe to the formation of planets. To reduce the mass of the whole mission, SPICA will be launched at ambient temperature and cooled down on orbit by mechanical coolers on board with an efficient radiative cooling system, a combination of which allows us to have a 3 m class cooled (5 K) telescope in space with moderate total weight (3 t). SPICA is proposed as a Japanese-led mission together with extensive international collaboration. The assessment study on the European contribution to the SPICA project has started under the framework of the ESA Cosmic Vision 2015-2025. US and Korean participations are also under discussion. The target launch year of SPICA is 2017.
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