Breakthrough Watch to Fund Phase 2 of TOLIMAN Mission
The Breakthrough Prize Foundation today announces that its Breakthrough Watch program will be funding Phase 2 of the TOLIMAN space telescope program, a mission to discover potentially habitable exoplanets around Earth’s nearest neighbor, Alpha Centauri.
The TOLIMAN mission is an ongoing collaboration with the University of Sydney and other partners to design, build and launch a space telescope. Designed for precision and stability, it will search for exoplanets in the Alpha Centauri system and eventually other nearby stars. The telescope is designed to probe the so-called “Goldilocks zones” of stars – where temperatures could allow for liquid surface water on rocky planets. Its innovative custom-designed mirror spreads starlight into a flower-like pattern that helps astronomers to find subtle signals the reveal the presence of orbiting planets.
Phase 2 will include the design, build and integration of the spacecraft with the telescope. The Breakthrough Watch and University of Sydney teams will be working with Bulgarian aerospace manufacturer EnduroSat to realise this phase of the mission.