ESA's 'dark universe' mission Euclid ready for construction

Washington, July 10 (ANI): Europe's "dark universe" mission Euclid is now ready for construction after the European Space Agency announced Thales as prime contractor.

Designed to study the enigmatic dark matter and dark energy with great precision, the European mission is due for launch in 2020.

Thales is responsible for the satellite and infrastructure and overseeing the integration of all the parts into one system. They are also responsible for launch.

"We are proud to be a part of Euclid," Dr. Chris Castelli, Acting Director of Technology, Science and Exploration for the UK Space Agency, which will provide millions of pounds of funding to build key parts of the Euclid hardware and software, said.

"Our investment ensures UK companies and scientists can play a leading role in this exciting European mission," he said.

To map the distribution and evolution of dark energy and dark matter in the universe, Euclid requires crisp deep images with sharpness similar to that obtained with the Hubble Space Telescope, but over a huge area, some 40 percent of the sky.

It will make high precision measurements of billions of distant galaxies, using a technique called 'gravitational lensing'.

The mission will effectively look back in time about 10 billion years, covering the period over which dark energy seems to have accelerated the expansion of the universe. (ANI)

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