NASA plans to make a special announcement related to its WFIRST space telescope mission this week, the space agency said on Monday. The announcement will reveal something about the Wide Field Infrared Survey Telescope, likely a new detail about the upcoming mission, followed by a live stream chat with members working on the project.
This isn’t the first time NASA has announced intentions to hold a special live session to detail findings from or happenings about one of its missions. The space agency didn’t state what the public can expect, but we won’t have to wait long: the announcement will take place this Wednesday, May 20, at 11 AM EDT / 8 AM PDT. Given that it’s taking the time to make a special broadcast, we can expect the news to likely be major.
The announcement will be held through the NASA Science Live video to be streamed on the main NASA website, as well as through its YouTube channel, Facebook Page, and on its Twitter account. The video below is NASA’s scheduled broadcast; clicking the title will take you to the YouTube account where you can save the title to your playlist ahead of Wednesday.
The WFIRST mission involves an observatory that is made to study the universe’s dark matter and dark energy, as well as hunting for new exoplanets and more. Despite being the same size as Hubble, WFIRST has 100 times greater of a view in comparison. The mission is currently scheduled to launch in the mid-2020s, according to the space agency.
The telescope’s mirror measures just under 8ft in diameter, plus WFIRST will feature two instruments: the Coronagraph Instrument and the Wide Field Instrument. With the latter tool, WFIRST will be able to capture more of the sky compared to Hubble and it will require less time to do so. A microlensing survey of the inner part of the Milky Way is expected to uncover around 2,600 exoplanets.