The Royal Astronomical Society welcomes the UK Government decision to join the Japanese-led LiteBIRD mission, which will analyse the residual radiation from the Big Bang to determine whether the current model for the expansion of the Universe is correct.
Over the lifetime of the mission the UK Space Agency will contribute £17 million, starting with £2.7 million to fund UK scientists and engineers to design and build components of the instruments, including lenses and filters at Cardiff University.
RAS President Professor Mike Edmunds said:
"It is great to know that the UK will be participating in the exciting JAXA LiteBIRD cosmology mission. This satellite will investigate the mechanism of rapid inflation in the very, very early Universe - a fundamental and vitally important idea that has not yet been sufficiently tested. Having spent nearly all my academic career in Cardiff I am of course delighted that my colleagues will be closely involved in the design and build of components in the telescope’s optics."
Press release: UK joins mission to trace Universe back to the Big Bang