Exploration is a big part of human nature and life. Early human life traveled and explored much of the Earth’s land masses. Humans today are still exploring the deepest unknown parts of the ocean. However, humans always look for the next big thing, and space is full of infinite discoveries.
With exploration comes the need for innovation. The most complicated telescope ever built used a series of mirrors that had to fit together perfectly in order to work. The telescope known as the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) was launched into space in 2021. This telescope was only the first innovation of many to come.
The Nautilus Array will be somewhat of a replacement for the JWST when its five-year mission is completed. The Nautilus Array will cost around $10 billion, but it will be much more reliable than the JWST since it will be made with a thin lens. This lens, though very thin, can be made very large, and because of its lightweight nature, as many as 35 Nautilus telescopes will be able to launch in only three space launches. The array of telescopes will be identical as well.
The array of telescopes will be able to see exoplanets from roughly 1,000 light-years away. For this to be possible, the lens will need to have a diameter of 164 feet (50 meters). Using the Nautilus Array, scientists hope to explore a thousand earth-like exoplanets. Exploring these planets will allow scientists to determine if a planet has atmospheric signatures that could contain life. This telescope will be the first one capable of systematically searching space for biosignatures.
With the exploration of space expanding and developments becoming increasingly more complex, the question of if we are the only life in the universe may be answered. Although an exact launch date for the telescopes has not yet been established, research for them has been in progress since 2016 and will continue with research until its launch date. The telescope will be a revolutionary project changing not only the way telescopes are made, but how people see the world as well.