Euclid telescope ready for extreme space environment

Science & Exploration


ESA’s Euclid mission has reached a brand new milestone in its improvement with profitable testing of the telescope and devices displaying that it could actually function and obtain the required efficiency within the extreme environment of space.

Euclid telescope ready for extreme space environment

Euclid will examine darkish power and darkish matter. Whilst these can’t be seen straight by any telescope, their presence and affect could be inferred by observing the big scale distribution of galaxies within the Universe.It has lengthy been identified that the Universe is increasing as measurements of distant galaxies present them shifting away from us. The growth, together with the expansion of cosmic buildings resembling galaxy superclusters, are influenced by darkish power and darkish matter, however scientists don’t absolutely perceive these phenomena but.

Euclid flagship mock galaxy catalogue

Euclid will picture billions of galaxies with unprecedented accuracy out to a distance of ten billion light-years. The survey will cowl greater than a 3rd of the evening sky (celestial sphere). These measurements will allow astronomers to enhance their understanding of the growth historical past of the Universe and the expansion price of cosmic buildings.

Euclid within the thermal tent

Euclid has two devices supplied by two consortia of European scientific institutes: the VISible imager (VIS) and the Near Infrared Spectrometer and Photometer (NISP). Both have been built-in onto Euclid’s payload module on the finish of 2020 by Airbus Defence and Space in Toulouse, France. The module was then transported to Centre Spatial de Liège (CSL) in Belgium in April this 12 months.At CSL, Euclid’s payload module was sealed in a big vacuum tank for 60 days the place it underwent intensive testing. These assessments are to verify whether or not the telescope and devices work in accordance with expectations in any case parts had been assembled and related. Any flaws within the system must be resolved earlier than Euclid is launched into space, the place bodily restore is unattainable.In the vacuum tank, Euclid skilled simulated space situations in vacuum with the construction cooled to -150oC, the identical temperature it can function in as soon as in space.

Euclid exits massive vacuum tank

Euclid will observe faint galaxies; at CSL, optical efficiency was verified by observing simulated level sources or ‘fake stars’. This was finished utilizing a specifically developed collimator, which is actually one other telescope utilized in reverse to venture the faux stars into the Euclid telescope. The telescope targeted the sunshine into each devices, which produced photos and spectra to check and confirm the efficiency of the entire system from ‘end-to-end’.

Euclid optical efficiency take a look at

“We are very happy about the results of the testing, which found the telescope to be in good shape,” says Alexander Short, Euclid’s Mission and Payload Manager.“Testing revealed an anomaly which had to be resolved rapidly in order to avoid schedule delays. A ‘Tiger Team’ of ESA and industry experts was convened. The problem was diagnosed as a software issue which has since been resolved. We are happy to send a healthy telescope to the next stage of testing and integration with the rest of the spacecraft.”The subsequent step can be to move the payload module to Thales Alenia Space in Torino, Italy, the place it will likely be built-in with the service module to kind the ultimate, completed Euclid spacecraft. Euclid will then bear one other collection of acceptance testing together with mechanical assessments and one other thermal vacuum take a look at at built-in system stage.Euclid will launch from Europe’s Spaceport in French Guiana, with a launch window opening on the finish of 2022. It can be orbiting the second Sun-Earth Lagrangian Point (L2), which is positioned 1.5 million kilometres straight ‘behind’ the Earth as considered from the Sun.

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