NASA has announced a new space telescope mission dedicated to understanding the origins of life and the universe. It’s called the Spectro-Photometer for the History of the Universe, Epoch of Reionization and Ices Explorer or SPHEREx, for short. The space agency is aiming for a 2023 launch.
Once SPHEREx is in orbit, it will observe and collect data on over 300 million galaxies, some as far as 10 billion light-years away from Earth, and 100 million stars in our own Milky Way every six months.
The space telescope’s main goals, though, are to search for water and organic molecules within the Milky Way. It will also look for those ingredients of life in regions where stars are born.