Spitzer Space Telescope Mission Status
NASA's Spitzer Begins Warm Mission
PASADENA, Calif. -- After more than five-and-a-half years of
probing the cool cosmos, NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope has run
out of the coolant that kept its infrared instruments chilled. The
telescope will warm up slightly, yet two of its infrared detector
arrays will still operate successfully. The new, warm mission will
continue to unveil the far, cold and dusty universe.
Spitzer entered standby mode at 3:11 p.m. Pacific Time (6:11 p.m.
Eastern Time or 22:11 Universal Time), May 15, as result of running
out of its liquid helium coolant. Scientists and engineers will
spend the next few weeks recalibrating the instrument at the
warmer temperature, and preparing it to begin science operations.
Additional information, including the following items, is at:
--A full news release about Spitzer's warm mission and past accomplishments
--A mock interview titled "If Spitzer Could Talk: An Interview with NASA's
Coolest Space Mission"
--A video about the Spitzer mission
--An article about the late astronomer Lyman Spitzer, the mission's namesake
Detailed information about the Spitzer mission at
Who's Who of the Spitzer mission:
NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif., manages the Spitzer mission
for NASA's Science Mission Directorate in Washington, D.C. Science operations
are conducted at the Spitzer Science Center at the California Institute of Technology
in Pasadena. Lockheed Martin Space Systems in Denver, and Ball Aerospace & Technologies
Corp., in Boulder, Colo., support mission and science operations. NASA's Goddard Space
Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md., built Spitzer's infrared array camera; the instrument's
principal investigator was Giovanni Fazio of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for
Astrophysics in Cambridge, Mass. Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp. built Spitzer's
infrared spectrograph; its principal investigator was Jim Houck of Cornell University
in Ithaca, N.Y. Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp. and the University of Arizona in
Tucson, built the multiband imaging photometer for Spitzer; its principal investigator
was George Rieke of the University of Arizona.
Media contact: Whitney Clavin 818-354-4673
Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif.