The Origins Space Telescope (OST) will address some of our most compelling questions: "How did we get here?", "How did the Milky Way and other galaxies form?", and "How do life-bearing planets form?"  

OST will unveil the hidden side of galaxy and black hole evolution, trace the trail of water from molecular clouds to proto-planetary disks, revolutionize our understanding of planetary system formation, and complete the census of the outer reaches of the Solar System.

By delivering three orders of magnitude gain in sensitivity over previous far-infrared missions, high angular resolution to overcome spatial confusion in deep surveys, and new spectroscopic capabilities to detect water in planet forming disks and the key tracers of rapidly evolving galaxies and growing black holes in the early Universe, OST fulfills the recommendation of NASA's Astrophysics Roadmap,Enduring Quests, Daring Visions.

The science goals and associated measurement requirements for OST are being established by a community-based Science and Technology Definition Team (STDT). The STDT is supported by a NASA Center Study Office based at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center, with partners at several other NASA Centers and industry teams. The Origins Space Telescope study team is developing a scientifically compelling, executable mission concept for presentation to the Decadal Survey in 2019.


OST at the 233rd AAS meeting

OST had a large presence at the Winter AAS meeting in Seattle, WA. See the full list of talks and posters on our News page.  We will link in all the presentations soon.  We also produced a new Origins brochure for the meeting, filled with everything you need to know about our current concept.

9th OST Face to Face Meeting

The 9th meeting of the STDT took place on Oct 23, 24, 2018 at the Center for Astrophysics, Harvard University

Origins Space Telescope Frequently Asked Question page

We've have an on-line FAQ page!  Take a look, and submit a question about Origins for us to answer.




Charting background

Tracing Galaxy and Black-hole Growth Across Cosmic Time

Through deep and wide spectroscopic surveys, Origins will reveal the complete history of star formation, metal enrichment and supermassive black-hole growth in galaxies across cosmic time.

Water trail background

Following the Water Trail from the Interstellar Medium
to Life-bearing Worlds

With sensitive and high-resolution far-infrared spectroscopy, Origins will illuminate the trail of water in our Galaxy from star-forming disks to habitable planets.

Exoplanets background

Searching for Biosignatures in Nearby Exoplanets

By obtaining precise mid-infrared transmission and emission spectra, Origins will assess the habitability of nearby exoplanets and search for signs of life.