NASA has reviewed the design of an optical instrument L3Harris Technologies will build for the space agency's Wide Field Infrared Survey Telescope. WFIRST met a set of requirements, such as performance qualification, during the preliminary design review and is prepared to move into the next phase of the program, NASA said Wednesday.
L3Harris, the merged company of Harris and L3 Technologies, secured a potential $195.9M contract in late 2018 to manufacture the Optical Telescope Assembly to help the agency detect extrasolar planetary systems and study the phenomenon of dark energy.
WFIRST will be equipped with a 2.4-meter primary mirror intended to collect and transmit light to a pair of scientific instruments. The Wide Field Instrument will help astronomers map dark matter, while the Coronagraph Instrument will work to capture exoplanet images.
The agency noted it will use existing hardware for the mission, which is scheduled to launch in the mid-2020s.