The project is NASA Terrestrial Planet Finder, designed to find Earth-like planets around other stars, is included in the so-called "new vision" of the most important objectives of the agency, revised after the sensational performances of President Bush.
Now the authors of the project defined the concept of space vehicles, and that will search for planets.
It turns out that it will be two different satellites.
The first of these — Terrestrial Planet Finder-C — a telescope operating in the visible wavelength range, of 4-6 meters.
It will be equipped with a coronagraph to block the star's light. On the orbit of its launch, according to recent data, around 2014.
Second — Terrestrial Planet Finder-I — multiteleskop infrared interferometer composed of several telescopes of 3-4 meters each, flying "in tight formation."
It connects to your partner no later than 2020.
TPF-I will study the same stars that TPF-C, increasing the reliability and sensitivity of the observations.
However, TPF-I will have a much greater sensitivity and "dalnobojnostju" and therefore be able to further explore the stars, which are beyond the capabilities of TPF-C.
The observation of planets outside our solar system at the same time and in the visible and infrared light enables scientists to obtain a rich set of data that shed light on the chemical processes taking place at different levels in the atmosphere and on its surface.
This will allow to draw conclusions as to whether the planet is now able to (or could ever have in the past) to provide shelter beings.
By the way, according to recent data every tenth of the galaxy planet suitable for life.