12.15.15

Status Report for NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope

Default Spitzer Space Telescope graphic.

Engineers and scientists have been busy recovering the Spitzer Space Telescope from standby mode since it experienced an anomaly on Nov. 26, 2015. On Dec. 14, they successfully turned on the telescope's primary instrument, the infrared array camera, or IRAC. The instrument is back in working order, and collecting science data. The anomaly was caused by a communications interruption between IRAC and the spacecraft.

Spitzer, which launched in 2003, explores the cosmos in infrared light. It studies everything from asteroids within our solar system, to exotic planets around other stars, to the most remote galaxies billions of light-years away.

NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, California, manages the Spitzer Space Telescope mission for NASA's Science Mission Directorate, Washington. Science operations are conducted at the Spitzer Science Center at the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena. Spacecraft operations are based at Lockheed Martin Space Systems Company, Littleton, Colorado. Data are archived at the Infrared Science Archive housed at the Infrared Processing and Analysis Center at Caltech. Caltech manages JPL for NASA.