Is there life out there on other planets? I am quite sure that many of us have asked this question for quite some time already, and so far, there has been no evidence to suggest that such life is headed our way, other than the fact that there could have been life in the past – billions of years ago. Well, the most recent foray made by the Hubble telescope showed the presence of water in 5 different gas giant planets, but it is not suitable for life on earth as we know it. This time around, we will look at the MOIRE (Membrane Optical Imager for Real-Time Exploration) folding telescope.
The MOIRE is a ground-based prototype folding telescope that is capable of shooting high resolution images, where it does away with glass by replacing it with a high-efficiency polymer membrane which will be a whole lot lighter – one seventh to be exact, where it can also collapses into compact shapes for easier portability. The optics will launch at a diameter of 20 feet, although it can also expand all the way to 68 feet. Just how effective is it? DARPA claims that the finished product is capable of imaging a whopping 40% of our world in a single shot. [Press Release]