A NASA-operated space observatory has passed the preliminary design review phase, marking a major milestone for the spacecraft's development, Space News reported Monday.
Michael New, deputy associate administrator for science at NASA’s Science Mission Directorate, said the Wide-Field Infrared Survey Telescope passed the PDR phase with successful results.
Work to convert WFIRST's primary mirror also exceeded performance expectations, New told the National Academies’ Space Studies Board during a meeting last Wednesday.
The space agency announced the telescope's PDR completion in a tweet posted Nov. 1. WFIRST passed the PDR despite a lack of funds, with Congress allotting more budget for the James Webb Space Telescope.
NASA plans to launch WFIRST within the 2020s.