Spitzer Space Telescope

SST and the Milky Way, an Artist's Concept SST and the Milky Way, an Artist's Concept

NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope whizzes in front of a brilliant, infrared view of the Milky Way galaxy's plane in this artistic depiction.
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Mission Summary

Considered a cousin of the Hubble Space Telescope, the Spitzer Space Telescope is designed to study the early universe in infrared light. The first telescope to see light from a planet outside our solar system, Spitzer has also made important discoveries about comets, stars, exoplanets and distant galaxies.

In 2009, Spitzer ran out of liquid coolant and began its "warm mission," refocusing its studies on determining how quickly our universe is stretching apart, and characterizing asteroids and the atmospheres of gas-giant planets.

Scientific Instrument(s)

- Infrared Array Camera (IRAC)
- Infrared Spectrograph (IRS)
- Multiband Imaging Photometer (MIPS)


Type: Orbiter
 
Status: Current
 
Launch Date: August 25, 2003
1:35 a.m. EDT (5:35 UTC)
 
Launch Location: Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida
 
Target: Universe
 
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