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
Bulgeless Galaxy Hides Black Hole The Search for Seeds of Black Holes

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A nearby star stands out in red in this image from the Second Generation Digitized Sky Survey. NASA's WISE Survey Finds Thousands of New Stars, But No 'Planet X'

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An infrared portrait of Comet NEOWISE (C/2014 C3) NEOWISE Spies Its First Comet

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