NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope Ends Mission of Astronomical Discovery


NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope
NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope
Credits: NASA

After more than 16 years studying the universe in infrared light, revealing new wonders in our solar system, our galaxy, and beyond, NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope’s mission has come to an end.

Mission engineers confirmed at 2:30 p.m. PST (5:30 p.m. EST) Thursday the spacecraft was placed in safe mode, ceasing all science operations. After the decommissioning was confirmed, Spitzer Project Manager Joseph Hunt declared the mission had officially ended.

Launched in 2003, Spitzer was one of NASA’s four Great Observatories, along with the Hubble Space Telescope, the Chandra X-ray Observatory and the Compton Gamma Ray Observatory. The Great Observatories program demonstrated the power of using different wavelengths of light to create a fuller picture of the universe.

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