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Notice of Intent to Astro2010

SAMURAI (Science of AGNs and Masers with Unprecedented Resolution in Astronomical Imaging). U.S. support of Japanese Space VLBI mission VSOP-2 enabling U.S. scientists access to key mission science.


Point of Contact: David Murphy, NASA JPL


Summary Description: Enable U.S. participation in the the Japanese-led Space VLBI mission VSOP-2 which consists of a space radio telescope (ASTRO-G) operating in conjunction with ground VLBI arrays to produce the highest resolution images in astrophysics (~40 micro-arcseconds). Key SAMURAI science goals are (i) understand how super-massive black holes generate ultra-relativisitic jets and powerful gamma-ray emission and (ii) constrain the nature of dark energy by making the most accurate measurement of Hubble’s constant. U.S. contributions to the VSOP-2 mission would include use of NRAO’s VLBA, GBT, and EVLA, provision of 1 or 2 science telemetry (tracking) stations, high precision GPS orbit determination and support of a U.S.-led science team. U.S. participation in the VSOP-2 mission replaces the ARISE mission listed as a medium mission in the previous decadal survey. Furthermore, SAMURAI achieves the major science objectives of ARISE at a factor of 10 reduction in U.S. cost. Moreover. U.S. scientists and facilities are critical to VSOP-2 mission scientific success.


Anticipated Sponsor: NASA, NSF


Participating Individuals or Institutions: David W. Murphy (Jet Propulsion Laboratory), James Braatz (National Radio Astronomy Observatory), Lincoln Greenhill (Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory), Daniel Homan (Denison University), Svetlana Jorstad (Boston University), Kenneth Kellermann (National Radio Astronomy Observatory), Matthew Lister (Purdue University), Alan Marscher (Boston University), David Meier (Jet Propulsion Laboratory), B. Glenn Piner (Whittier College), Robert Preston (Jet Propulsion Laboratory), Mark Reid (Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory), Gregory Taylor (University of New Mexico), James Ulvestad (National Radio Astronomy Observatory), Frank Webb (Jet Propulsion Laboratory), Ann Wehrle (Space Science Institute), Oshiaki Hagiwara (National Astronomical Observatory of Japan), Makoto Inoue (National Astronomical Observatory of Japan), Seiji Kameno (Kagoshima University), Yasuhiro Murata (VSOP-2 deputy project scientist, Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency), Masato Tsuboi (VSOP-2 project scientist, Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency), Phillip Edwards (CSIRO Australia National Telescope Facility), Denise Gabuzda (University College Cork), Leonid Gurvits (Joint Institute for VLBI in Europe)


Current Status: Japanese VSOP-2 mission in Phase-A and space element ASTRO-G is due for launch in 2013. SAMURAI proposal was submitted to last SMEX Mission of Opportunity call and was rated category I (recommended for flight) and had 11 major strengths and 0 major weakness in NASA review. Unfortunately funding limitations prevented proposal from being funded.


Additional Information: http://www.vsop2.nrao.edu


Last modified on Tuesday, 17-Feb-2009 12:30:27 MST

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