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About IMAPS

Mission

ORFEUS-SPAS II The Interstellar Medium Absorption Profile Spectrograph (IMAPS) flew on its first Shuttle-launched mission in September 1993, as part of the ORFEUS-SPAS program sponsored jointly by NASA and the German Space Agency (DARA). A second shuttle flight (i.e., as part of the ORFEUS-SPAS II mission), occurred in November 1996, aboard the shuttle Columbia. The objective-grating echelle spectrograph was designed to obtain high resolution spectra of bright stars in the 950-1150 Å wavelength region; a region not detectable by HST. IMAPS is capable of producing spectra with a resolution of R = 240,000 (i.e., corresponding to a doppler shift of ~ 1 km/sec), making it the highest resolution spectrograph ever flown in space.

The NASA photo above shows the ORFEUS-SPAS II platform prior to being launched from the NASA Space Shuttle COLUMBIA. IMAPS is the long shiny tube seen piggy-backed on the right side of the platform. (Clicking on the image will show an expanded view.) The other 2 instruments on baord ORFUES-SPAS which share a single main telescope, include the Berkeley Extreme Ultraviolet Spectrometer (EUV) provided by the University of California at Berkeley, and the Far-Ultraviolet Echelle Spectrograph (FUV) designed by the University of Tubingen and the Landessternwarte Heidelberg.

The IMAPS Science Team included the following:

Dr. Edward Jenkins (Princeton University Observatory) - Principal Investigator
Dr. Charles Joseph (Rutgers University, Physics and Astronomy) IMAPS-1,
Dr. Ulysses Sofia (Villanova University, Astronomy and Astrophysics),
Dr George Sonneborn (NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center, LASP)