Spitzer Space Telescope


Spitzer Missions & Center Operational


The Spitzer Space Telescope is the final mission in NASA's Great Observatories Program - a family of four space-based observatories, each observing the Universe in a different kind of light. The other missions in the program include the visible-light Hubble Space Telescope (HST), Compton Gamma-Ray Observatory (CGRO), and the Chandra X-Ray Observatory (CXO).

Spitzer was launched on August 25, 2003. A 0.85-meter diameter lightweight telescope and three cryogenically-cooled science instruments combine to provide imaging and spectroscopy from 3-180 microns. Incorporating large-format detector arrays and innovative choices in orbit and cryogenic architecture, Spitzer offers orders-of-magnitude improvements in capability over previous infrared telescopes.

Spitzer is being used to study phenomena ranging from our Solar System to the distant reaches of the Universe, and represents an important scientific and technical cornerstone of NASA's Astronomical Search for Origins Program.

IPAC's role:

The Spitzer Science Center (SSC) is located within IPAC at the California Institute of Technology. The SSC is responsible for science operations for the astronomical community including  proposal planning, observation planning, observation scheduling, data processing, data archiving, data reduction support, public affairs and education and public outreach.

The Spitzer Heritage Archive  for science data is hosted by IRSA, also within IPAC.


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