Nancy Grace Roman - NASA's Next-Generation Space Telescope

Images from the James Webb Telescope left the world starstruck. Thanks to its state-of-the-art technologies, we were able to gaze further into deep space than ever before – until now.  

NASA's Nancy Grace Roman Space Telescope, set to launch in 2026, will take us even further.

This next-generation space telescope promises to be an extremely powerful tool, allowing us to study the cosmos and its many galaxies from a brand new perspective.  

NASA recently announced a $255m partnership with SpaceX for Roman’s launch. Liftoff will take place at the Kennedy Space Center aboard a Falcon Heavy rocket.

Roman, which cost $4.3 billion in total, will combine tried and tested technologies with state-of-the-art additions.

With a Hubble-sized mirror and 18 newly developed HgCdTe 4K × 4K photodiode arrays, the Roman Space Telescope will take infrared images of the sky to observe dark energy, stars, exoplanets and galaxies. It will measure the positions and shapes of hundreds of millions of galaxies, the light curves of thousands of supernovae, and the microlensing signals of over a thousand exoplanets toward the galaxy's bulge.  

Roman will have a panoramic field of view 200 times larger than the Hubble Telescope's, allowing it to create the first wide-field maps of the universe. The telescope is comprised of a 2.4-meter telescope with a Wide-Field Instrument (WFI) – a 300-megapixel infrared camera – and a coronagraph. It’s Hubble-like, but with the added benefit of 30 years’ technological development.  

All these instruments working together, and in collaboration with hi-tech future telescopes, will herald a new era of space exploration.

The Roman Space Telescope will survey billions of galaxies, capturing the light of stellar explosions. Its powerful WFI can capture thousands of objects from a single observation. Scientists are hoping to solve the mystery of dark energy, which is causing the universe's expansion to accelerate. Roman's sky scans will reveal thousands of exoplanets beyond our solar system, including planets that have never been studied before.  

The telescope’s mission lifecycle also promises to shed new light on the heyday of star formation. Astronomers will be able to study a galaxy’s spectrum to learn about its stars' ages, star formation history, the number of heavy chemical elements it contains, and much more. By doing this for multiple early galaxies, we can learn about the processes that began and eventually ended this period of rapid growth.  

Keep your eyes to the sky as NASA prepares for this mind-blowing mission.