WFIRST-AFTA: Coronagraph Technology Development


Illustration of what WFIRST will look like once launched. Credit: NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center/CI Lab

Coronagraph is a telescopic attachment designed to block out the direct light from a star so that nearby objects – which otherwise would be hidden in the star’s bright glare – can be resolved.

Direct imaging of exoplanets allows their spectral characterization, revealing their atmospheric composition and, potentially, signs of life. The WFIRST/AFTA mission concept includes the first high-contrast coronagraph in space.

NASA’s Space Technology and Science Mission Directorates are funding the development of the coronagraph technology demonstration.

The coronagraph will produce precursor science in exoplanet direct imaging and spectroscopy.


› WFIRST: Uncovering the Mysteries of the Universe

Principal Technologist Project Manager
Denise Podolski ( Feng Zhao (