The Infrared Astronomical Satellite, or IRAS, was the first mission to put a telescope in space to survey the sky in infrared. It made a number of unexpected discoveries, including: six new comets, the core of our galaxy, and evidence of solid material around the stars Vega and Fomalhaut, which strongly suggested the existence of planetary systems around other stars.
The telescope was a joint project of NASA, the Netherlands Agency for Aerospace Programmes and the United Kingdom's Science and Engineering Research Council.
November 21, 1983: Following a 10-month-long mission, the space telescope exhausts its cryogen and ceases operations.
- Survey array
- Low Resolution Spectrometer (LRS)
- Chopped Photometric Channel (CPC)