|Mission type||Exoplanet observation|
|Mission duration||5-6 years|
|Type||4-telescope array with 6:1 baseline ratio, maximum/minimum allowed separation: 600 m / 10 m|
|Diameter||4 x 2-3.5 m|
|Wavelengths||4 – 18 μm (mid-infrared)|
|Resolution||spectral: 35 - 50|
Large Interferometer For Exoplanets (LIFE) is a project started in 2017 to develop the science, technology and a roadmap for a space mission to detect and characterize the atmospheres of dozens of warm, terrestrial extrasolar planets. The current plan is for a nulling interferometer operating in the mid-infrared consisting of several formation flying collector telescopes with a beam combiner spacecraft at their center.
LIFE shall obtain thermal emission spectra with sufficient spectral resolution, wavelength coverage and sensitivity to investigate at least 30 (requirement) / 50 (goal) extrasolar planets with radii between 0.5 and 1.5 Earth radii and receiving between 0.35 and 1.7 times the insolation of the Earth in order to assess their diversity, habitability and search for biomarkers. The sample shall be roughly equally split between planets orbiting late K to early M-type stars and planets orbiting late F to early K-type stars.