I can’t believe that I have never posted anything about this amazing project. NASA pulled together over 50 scientists and engineers, including myself, to consider the following question: “When does it make more sense to build a telescope in orbit, robotically, than to build it for a single launch?”
The in-Space Assembled Telescope (iSAT) study took over a year, and looked at all aspects of an in-space assembled telescope. What do astronomers need it to do? What kind of robotics would be needed? What launch vehicles could be used? How much would it cost? What do we know how to do today, and what research would be needed to start the project?
The results of the iSAT study are available here, in great detail: https://exoplanets.nasa.gov/exep/technology/in-space-assembly/iSAT_study/
I’m also excited to say that Universe Today recently put together a 12-minute video on iSAT. It is very interesting and easy to watch. Many thanks to Universe Today for this great video: