Considered a cousin of the Hubble Space Telescope, the Spitzer Space Telescope was designed to study the early universe in infrared light. The first telescope to see light from a planet outside our solar system, Spitzer 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.

Spitzer operated in its warm mission for over a decade, or about twice the length of its primary mission. On Jan. 30, 2020, engineers decommissioned the spacecraft, bringing the Spitzer mission to a close. It's science legacy lives on via the Spitzer Data Archive.

Scientific Instrument(s)

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