NASA announced on Friday that it has teamed up with the European Space Agency for the ESA's Euclid mission, which involves the creation of a new telescope designed to investigate the mysteries of dark matter and dark energy within the universe. It is expected that the Euclid spacecraft will launch in 2020, and it's mission will last six years.
During the Euclid mission, the space telescope will map the locations and measure the shapes of as many as 2 billion galaxies spread over roughly one-third of the viewable sky. NASA and ESA will study the universe along with dark matter and dark energy, as well as their effect on the evolution of the universe.
The telescope will be launched to an orbit around the sun-Earth Lagrange point L2. The Lagrange point is a location where the gravitational pull of the Sun and the Earth equals the required force to keep the spacecraft in a relatively stationary positions. It will be positioned behind the Earth as it is seen from the Sun.
NASA's involvement in the mission will include contributing 16 state of the art infrared detectors and four spare detectors for one of two science instruments that will be installed on the Euclid space telescope.
NASA has also nominated three science teams from the United States with a total of 40 members for the Euclid Consortium. The Euclid Consortium will include an international body of 1,000 members to oversee the development of the spacecraft instruments as well as manage the science operations for the project and analyze data returned.