Initial assembly of NASA's Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer, or WISE, cryostat. The cryostat is a 2-stage solid hydrogen dewar that is used to cool the WISE optics and detectors. Here the cryostat internal structures are undergoing their initial vacuum pumpdown. The WISE cryostat was developed by Lockheed Martin Advanced Technology Center, Palo Alto, CA.
JPL manages the Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer for NASA's Science Mission Directorate. The mission's principal investigator, Edward Wright, is at UCLA. The mission was competitively selected under NASA's Explorers Program managed by the Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Md. The science instrument was built by the Space Dynamics Laboratory, Logan, Utah, and the spacecraft was built by Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp., Boulder, Colo. Science operations and data processing will take place at the Infrared Processing and Analysis Center at the California Institute of Technology, also in Pasadena. Caltech manages JPL for NASA. More information is online at http://wise.astro.ucla.edu.