A stadium-sized helium balloon will be used to lift the next telescope that POT and the Canadian space agency want to send to the upper levels of the Earth’s atmosphere, according to a Gizmodo report. The telescope is said to be the successor to the hubble telescope and it’s called the Balloon-Carried Superpressure Imaging Telescope o SuperBIT in short. It has been designed by the University of Toronto, Princeton University and Durham University in England together, in conjunction with NASA and the Canadian Space Agency and is scheduled to launch from New Zealand in March 2022. The balloon-borne telescope can remain in the stratosphere for weeks and even months.
Balloon-Carried Superpressure Imaging Telescope: The Purpose
The main goal of SuperBIT is “to provide information on the distribution of dark matter in galaxy clusters and throughout the large-scale structure of the universe,” says a post on the University of Toronto website. A helium balloon with a volume of 532,000 cubic meters will lift the SuperBIT 25 miles into the sky. The telescope cost about $ 5 million to build. One of the perceived benefits of SuperBIT is its advantage of not being affected by climatic changes such as cloudy conditions at night or smog caused by a forest fire, since it will be located in the stratosphere, above the troposphere and, therefore, it will be mostly clear. de and is not affected by climatic conditions since most of the climatic activity occurs in the troposphere. The SuperBIT will be charged with the help of the solar panels designed in its structure, image at night and thus go around the globe.
Imaging telescope carried by a superpressure balloon: Why is it necessary?
The report quotes a member of the SuperBIT team, Mohamed Shaaban, who said that the Hubble telescope is aging and also has more than subscriptions, meaning it has more work orders than it can complete. Hence the need for new telescopes that could support Hubble in observing space arose.
According to the report, a telescope with an optical system three times the size of SuperBIT is also in the works. It will be called GigaBIT and is expected to undergo its first test flight in September 2022. The Euclid telescope on the European Space Agency It is also scheduled for a release next year.