In this issue of Photonics Focus, we look at space-based astronomy missions, from short-term cubesats—which can be designed, built, and launched within a couple of years—to the GRACE satellite series, which has allowed astronomers to observe surface mass changes to Earth’s polar ice and water for decades. The longest-term mission described is STROBE-X, an X-ray astronomy mission that is at the same stage of development as the James Webb Space Telescope was in 1996.
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