02:06 GMT04 December 2020
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    US defense and aerospace contractor Lockheed Martin is developing a groundbreaking instrument that can examine the universe’s "dark energy."

    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — The instrument, Near Infrared Camera, is being prepared for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s (NASA) newest astrophysics telescope program, Lockheed Martin announced in a press release.

    "Scientists achieved groundbreaking results with NIRCam's [Near Infrared Camera] precision and sensitivity," Lockheed Martin’s Wide-Field Optical-Mechanical Assembly Program Manager Jeff Beukel stated in the release on Thursday. "There's no time to lose as we support a fast-paced schedule, and our experience with NIRCam's precision optics positions our WOMA design to be capable, producible and on budget."

    NASA chose Lockheed Martin's Advanced Technology Center in the US state of California to develop the equipment based on an earlier study.

    The company said it is preparing an instrument assembly platform in hopes of winning a bid to install its devise on the James Webb Space Telescope, which is scheduled to be launched into orbit in 2018.

    Dark energy is a little-understood force that is believed responsible for the ongoing expansion of the universe.

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