MANTIS: The CubeSat Sidekick Astronomy Was Waiting For

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The James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) will be accompanied by a CubeSat called MANTIS, which will cost $8.5 million. MANTIS' incredible long-range vision capabilities will be used to complete investigations into exoplanets, their atmospheres, and habitability. It is inspired by the mantis shrimp, which has impressive vision, and its two built-in telescopes can investigate extreme ultraviolet light. The plan is to launch the cube-sat in 2022.

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The observation power of the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) is poised to double up, thanks to the addition of a new satellite assistant. Monitoring Activity from Nearby sTars with uv Imaging and Spectroscopy (MANTIS) will be a "sidekick" spacecraft for JWST. This new CubeSat will be designed and built at the University of Colorado Boulder's Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics (LASP). Whopping $8 .

MANTIS will be the first spacecraft to fly with an extreme ultraviolet telescope design

5 million budget This mini-satellite, which is about the size of a toaster oven, will cost a stunning $8.5 million to build. Despite its diminutive size, the satellite packs together the power of two high-tech telescopes into its small frame. The MANTIS's incredible visual capability will assist the Webb telescope in a range of investigations, including peering into the atmospheres of exoplanets. It will also monitor faraway stars – their activity and surrounding environment — located dozens of light-years away from Earth .

MANTIS is named after the mantis shrimp, an aquatic animal known for its impressive vision

The team notes that the spacecraft will establish the same observation goal as the Webb, allowing them to work together to examine the same star systems. To divide the job, the telescope will investigate exoplanets in those systems, while MANTIS will investigate their stars. The observations from the two space facilities will complement each other and assist scientists in piecing together knowledge about alien solar systems .

The CubeSat will cost a whopping $8.5 million to build

For instance, it will help to put together how energy emitted by the host stars influences the atmospheres of planets in the same system. This data might fill in the gaps surrounding the discovery of habitable worlds, or even if they exist, which continues to be the biggest enigma. "We proposed MANTIS as a kind of ultraviolet sidekick that will follow JWST and look wherever it's looking, filling in this important piece of context on the stellar environments in which these planets live," said Kevin France, an associate professor at LASP and scientist on the MANTIS team, in an official release .

The two onboard telescopes will operate in different spectrums -lower-energy ultraviolet radiation, and a range of light in extreme ultraviolet

Satellite with incredible vision The value of this little satellite rests in its incredible long-range vision. And, without a doubt, it will be compatible with the great Webb. The mantis shrimp, a creature known for its keen vision, inspired the name of this new satellite. MANTIS will be able to study the night sky in the "full range of ultraviolet light." This range of spectrum includes an energetic form of radiation called extreme ultraviolet (EUV) light .

MANTIS will help scientists investigate how energy emitted by stars influences the atmospheres of planets in the same system

The two built-in telescopes will allow researchers to investigate extreme ultraviolet light. The first will focus on lower-energy ultraviolet radiation, while the second will collect a range of light in extreme ultraviolet. The latter employs a "design that’s never before flown into space," according to the team. "We’re going to be observing stars of all different types, including a range of masses and ages .

MANTIS is sliced to be the same size as a toaster oven

We want to understand how this flux of UV light coming from stars affects the atmospheres of planets and even their habitability," said Briana Indahl, a research scientist at LASP and principal investigator for the MANTIS mission.The university team will shortly begin developing this mini-satellite to prepare for a launch in 2022.

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