By Robert Hurt | August 25th, 2010
NASA's premiere infrared telescope has just celebrated it's 7th birthday, and while that's getting up there in space telescope years, it's still going strong! Spitzer was catapulted into space early in the morning on 25 August 2003 from the Kennedy Spaceflight Center (or late in the night on 24 Aug. on West Coast time) beginning its nearly flawless mission.
There won't be any candles on the cake for Spitzer; they are hard to blow out (or light) in a vacuum. Besides that, even the faint heat from seven candles would raise Spitzer's temperature to unpleasant levels. Even in the absence of coolant it's telescope stays at a frigid 30 degrees above absolute zero due to some very clever thermal engineering that does not take into account birthday candles.
So, Happy Birthday, Spitzer. Here's hoping there are many more to celebrate!