The Single Aperture Far-Infrared Observatory (SAFIR) is a large cryogenic space telescope envisioned as a follow-on to the Spitzer Space Telescope (Spitzer) and the Herschel Space Observatory. SAFIR will provide unprecedented sensitivity in the important range between infrared wavelengths probed with the James Webb Space Telescope, and the microwave wavelengths observable with telescopes on the ground. SAFIR will explore the formation of the first stars and galaxies in the universe's distant past, and will pierce the veils of obscuring dust to reveal planetary system formation in our own Galaxy. Several architectures for SAFIR have been investigated. The "Vision Mission" version of SAFIR was based on a JWST design. A newer architecture pictured above called CALISTO (Cryogenic Aperture Large Infrared Space Observatory) appears to offer considerable performance improvement and economies compared with earlier architectures.
Far-Infrared Astronomy from Space: A Community Workshop about the Future
From Spitzer to Herschel and Beyond: The Future of Far-Infrared Space Astrophysics