Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer

WISE Spacecraft WISE Spacecraft

An artist's concept of the Wide-Field Infrared Survey Explorer, or WISE, space telescope. Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

Mission Summary

An infrared space telescope designed to detect some of the faintest objects in space, the Wide-Field Infrared Survey Explorer, or WISE, discovered 19 comets and more than 33,500 asteroids during its nine-month primary mission alone, snapping more than 1.8 million images.

The spacecraft reached the end of its onboard supply of frozen coolent in October 2010, but continued to survey the sky for asteroids and comets as part of its "warm mission" until February 2012.

Acronym: WISE
Type: Orbiter
Status: Current
Launch Date: December 14, 2009
6:09 a.m. PST (14:09 UTC)
Launch Location: Vandenberg Air Force Base, California
Mission End Date: February 01, 2012
Target: Universe
NEOWISE Spies Activity on Comet Catalina NEOWISE Spots a Comet That Looked Like an Asteroid

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Comet Pan-STARRS Sails By Distant Galaxy Comet Pan-STARRS Marches Across the Sky

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This diagram shows the orbit of asteroid 2014 HQ124, and its location relative to Earth on June 8. Asteroid Discovered by NASA to Pass Earth Safely

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