HabEx is one of four candidate flagship missions being studied in detail by NASA, to be submitted for consideration to
the 2020 Decadal Survey in Astronomy and Astrophysics for possible launch in the 2030s. It will be optimized for direct
imaging and spectroscopy of potentially habitable exoplanets, and will also enable a wide range of general astrophysics
science. HabEx aims to fully characterize planetary systems around nearby solar-type stars for the first time, including
rocky planets, possible water worlds, gas giants, ice giants, and faint circumstellar debris disks. In particular, it will
explore our nearest neighbors and search for signs of habitability and biosignatures in the atmospheres of rocky planets
in the habitable zones of their parent stars. Such high spatial resolution, high contrast observations require a large
(roughly greater than 3.5m), stable, and diffraction-limited optical space telescope. Such a telescope also opens up
unique capabilities for studying the formation and evolution of stars and galaxies. We present some preliminary science
objectives identified for HabEx by our Science and Technology Definition Team (STDT), together with a first look at
the key challenges and design trades ahead.
© (2016) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.
Bertrand Mennesson ; Scott Gaudi ; Sara Seager ; Kerri Cahoy ; Shawn Domagal-Goldman, et al.
The Habitable Exoplanet (HabEx) Imaging Mission: preliminary science drivers and technical requirements
", Proc. SPIE 9904, Space Telescopes and Instrumentation 2016: Optical, Infrared, and Millimeter Wave, 99040L (August 24, 2016); doi:10.1117/12.2240457; http://dx.doi.org/10.1117/12.2240457