Here is an updated pdf on the latest work on the New Worlds Imager and it has a proposal for a new Worlds Discoverer. The New Worlds Discoverer is proposed to be developed and launched in 2013. It could detect earth size plants out to 30 light years and analyze the spectroscopy of jovian (jupiter) sized planets. There are probably 10,000 planets within 30 light years. This system is about 35 m in size. It would have one starshade.
In 10 years, (2016-17) the proposal is for a $2-3 billion New Worlds Observer. It would be 150m in size. It would have two starshades. It could detect life on earth size planets by analyzing the spectroscopy.
Then for 2025, the New Worlds Imager. Lunar based or in space system that would have 1500km long baselines.
These are great systems that should be developed.
Brian Wang is a Futurist Thought Leader and a popular Science blogger with 1 million readers per month. His blog Nextbigfuture.com is ranked #1 Science News Blog. It covers many disruptive technology and trends including Space, Robotics, Artificial Intelligence, Medicine, Anti-aging Biotechnology, and Nanotechnology.
Known for identifying cutting edge technologies, he is currently a Co-Founder of a startup and fundraiser for high potential early-stage companies. He is the Head of Research for Allocations for deep technology investments and an Angel Investor at Space Angels.
A frequent speaker at corporations, he has been a TEDx speaker, a Singularity University speaker and guest at numerous interviews for radio and podcasts. He is open to public speaking and advising engagements.