Wide-field Infrared Explorer
WIRE • Missions & Center • Past
The Wide-field Infrared Explorer (WIRE) was a NASA Small Explorer mission launched in March 1999. The four-month mission was designed to use a 30-cm telescope to conduct a mid-infrared survey of the Universe and to study the birth and evolution of starburst galaxies.
The primary science goals were not attained following the premature ejection of the telescope cover, an anomalous warming of the telescope, and to a rapid depletion of the cryogen.
Spacecraft operations were redirected to use the star tracker for long-term monitoring of bright stars to study astroseismology and to use stellar occultations in the search for extrasolar planets.
IPAC provided science operations and data analysis for WIRE.