Profs. Daniel Scolnic and Michael Troxel are science leaders for WFIRST, a next generation NASA flagship mission. WFIRST passed its agency-level review by the NASA Agency Program Management Council under what is called Key Decision Point C, which allows the mission to formally enter a development phase and begin construction of engineering and test components for the mission. The WFIRST telescope is expected to be launched in 2025 and will enable the most precise measurements of dark energy and dark matter.
In the latest review, the Agency formally commited to executing the Project with a given technical content and management plan, including the budget and schedule. This commitment showed that the mission is at an advanced technical and scientific level and NASA has formally approved the mission concept and plans for development.
Scolnic is the Deputy Principal Investigator of one of the two supernovae Science Investigation Teams (SITs) and Troxel leads work simulating the WFIRST High-Latitude Survey (HLS) in the HLS Cosmology SIT. Their SITs develop early science capabilities to validate the requirements flowdown for the mission and enable informing project decisions on components as they are fabricated.
The NASA article on this development is here.
Photo caption: A small portion of a simulated WFIRST image, produced from work led by the Duke cosmology group.