LiteBIRD is selected next strategic large mission
The Japanese Institute of Space and Astronautical Science has chosen for its next strategic mission LiteBIRD, a small space observatory. Six researches of the Institute of Theoretical Astrophysics are involved in the project.
LiteBIRD name stands for Lite (Light) satellite for the studies of B-mode polarization and Inflation from cosmic background Radiation Detection. It is a planned small space observatory that aims to detect or constrain the footprint of the primordial gravitational wave on the Cosmic Microwave Background (CMB), the leftover thermal radiation from the Big Bang, in a form of polarization pattern called B-mode.
LiteBIRD is primary a Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) experiment, with proposed support from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), Canadian Space Agency (CSA) and various European national agencies, included the European Space Agency (ESA).
In May 2019 the Institute of Space and Astronautical Science (ISAS) has confirmed that LiteBIRD completed activities planned during Prephase-A2, and has selected LiteBIRD as its next strategic large mission, scheduled to be launched in the late 2020s.
At the Institute of Theoretical Astrophysics six researchers are involved in the LiteBIRD project, of which Ingunn Kathrine Wehus is the project leader.