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NASA’s Landolt Mission: A Tiny Star to Unlock Big Secrets

June 23, 2024
NASA's Landolt Mission A Tiny Star to Unlock Big Secrets
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The American space agency, NASA, is gearing up for a groundbreaking mission called Landolt. Scheduled for launch in early 2029, Landolt will be a one-of-a-kind satellite designed to operate as an artificial star. This mission aims to revolutionize our understanding of the universe by significantly improving the accuracy of ground-based telescopes.

The bread-sized satellite, equipped with eight powerful lasers, will mimic the light emitted by celestial objects ranging from faint stars to exploding supernovas. This artificial beacon will serve as a crucial calibration tool for astronomers. By observing the artificial star alongside real astronomical bodies, they can fine-tune their telescopes and instruments, leading to more precise measurements of distant objects.

“The satellite will be positioned at a specific orbit of 35,785 kilometers above Earth’s surface,” explains Peter Plavchan, the mission’s principal investigator. “This chosen distance allows the satellite to appear as a fixed, real star from Earth’s perspective, particularly over the skies of America during its initial year.”

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While invisible to the naked eye, the artificial star will be a clear sight for telescopes equipped with small cameras. With a budget of $195 million and a dedicated team of 30 personnel, the Landolt mission is poised to be a significant breakthrough in space exploration. Astronomers believe this innovative approach will unlock a treasure trove of secrets hidden within the vast universe.

Aditya Chaudhary

Aditya Chaudhary is a tech reviewer, Technology enthusiast and Tech news writer at The Ditible. He has 3 years of experience as Tech writer.

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