Corning Inc. has donated $1.8 million in high-tech components for a telescope a private group wants to launch into space.
The not-for-profit BoldlyGo Institute wants to put its ASTRO-1 telescope in orbit by the mid-2020s. The group says obtaining the components for a roughly 6-foot telescope primary mirror marks a major step toward the ambitious goal.
The institute said the space telescope would be used to study planets orbiting nearby stars as well as the Milky Way and other galaxies.
The components donated by the Corning, New York-based specialty glass maker had been intended for a NASA program that was cancelled.
The institute was formed this year to privately raise funds to increase the variety of space science missions. The group also wants to fund an unmanned trip to Mars.