The latest in NASA’s upcoming line of powerful in-space telescopes is currently under construction in Rochester.
Harris Corporation was awarded a nearly $196 million contract by the agency to begin construction on the Wide Field Infrared Survey Telescope, or WFIRST.
In 2016, designs on the WFIRST Telescope were created at Harris. It will explore an area of space 100 times bigger than the Hubble Telescope. Scientists hope the new technology will provide more answers about dark energy and alien life across the universe.
It’ll be the second powerful instrument to be launched, following a few years behind the James Webb Space Telescope, set to launch in 2021 designed to be sensitive enough to look back to the beginnings of the first galaxies.
NASA hopes to complete construction within a few years and launch by the end of the 2020s.
The project will create 160 jobs in Rochester.
Harris’ operations have gone interstellar. Just last week, they celebrated the completion of their largest project ever that will be incorporated into the National Science Foundation’s telescope in Chile that will take images of the southern night sky every few days for more than ten years, helping scientists detect potentially hazardous asteroids and new solar systems.