Space

August 26, 2013

Lockheed Martin celebrates 10 years of mission success for Spitzer Space Telescope

Ten years ago, NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope ñ built, integrated and tested at Lockheed Martin Space Systems in Sunnyvale, Calif. ñ roared into space from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida, carrying the observatory into an Earth-trailing orbit around the sun.

The Spitzer Space Telescope is a space-borne, cryogenically-cooled infrared observatory that studies objects ranging from our Solar System to the distant reaches of the Universe.

Lockheed Martin Space Systems in Denver provides mission support for Spitzer spaceflight operations in conjunction with the Jet Propulsion Laboratory and the California Institute of Technology.

We are extremely proud of our decades of work on behalf of NASA, and honored to have played such a key role in the Spitzer Space Telescope program,î said Jim Crocker, Lockheed Martin vice president of Civil Space. ìIt is particularly satisfying because celebrating Spitzerís 10th anniversary seemed unlikely at the outset as the mission was designed to last between two and five years.

In May 2009 the onboard liquid helium supply on Spitzer was exhausted. The mission was extended, however, because the two shortest wavelength detectors in Spitzerís camera continued functioning perfectly as the observatory trailed far behind the Earth in its orbit, through the cold of deep space.

The Spitzer Space Telescope views the universe in infrared light, which is largely blocked by the Earthís atmosphere. With Spitzer, astronomers have determined that Earth-like planets form around many, if not most of the nearby Sun-like stars in our galaxy, suggesting that the potential for life might be more common that previously thought. In looking at our own galaxy ñ the Milky Way galaxy ñ the observatory has given astronomers valuable insights by revealing where new stars are forming. In addition, the infrared eyes of Spitzer are ideal for studying distant planet forming disks, and characterizing planets beyond our Solar System.

The spaceborne Spitzer observatory comprises a 0.85-meter diameter telescope and three scientific instruments capable of performing imaging and spectroscopy in the 3-180 micron wavelength regime. Spitzer has provided more than a 100-fold increase in scientific capability over previous infrared missions. Ball Aerospace in Boulder, Colo. built Spitzerís Cryogenic Telescope Assembly, which includes the scientific instruments.

Spitzer was the fourth and final member of NASAís family of Great Observatories, which also includes the Chandra X-Ray Observatory, the Compton Gamma Ray Observatory, and the Hubble Space Telescope also built, integrated and operated by Lockheed Martin. The interaction of multiple Great Observatories coordinating observations enabled a greater science return and deeper understanding as astronomical phenomena could be imaged simultaneously over many different wavelengths. Hubble, Spitzer and Chandra remain in operation.




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 

Headlines July 30, 2014

News: Software to power F-35 running as much as 14 months late - Software needed to operate Lockheed Martin’s F-35 jet, the Pentagon’s costliest weapons system, may be as much as 14 months late for required flight testing, according to a Pentagon review.   Business: Lockheed will turn on JLTV production line In August; 6-D truck...
 
 

News Briefs July 30, 2014

U.S. military deaths in Afghanistan at 2,197 As of July 29, 2014, at least 2,197 members of the U.S. military had died in Afghanistan as a result of the U.S.-led invasion of Afghanistan in late 2001, according to an Associated Press count. At least 1,819 military service members have died in Afghanistan as a result...
 
 
Lockheed Martin photograph by Tom Reynolds

F-35B successfully completes wet runway, crosswind testing

Lockheed Martin photograph by Tom Reynolds F-35B aircraft BF-4, piloted by Lockheed Martin Test Pilot Dan Levin, starts down the runway as part of wet runway and crosswind testing at Edwards AFB, Calif. In an important program ...
 

 
boeing-chinook

Boeing delivers first U.S. Army multiyear II configured Chinook

Boeing July 29 delivered the first multiyear II configured CH-47F Chinook helicopter to the U.S. Army one month ahead of schedule. The delivery was celebrated in a ceremony at the production facility in Ridley Township, Penn. ...
 
 
Army photograph by SSgt. Angela Stafford

Engineers developing safer, more accurate tracer round

Army photograph Tracer rounds enable the shooter to follow the projectile trajectory to make aiming corrections. However, the light emitted by these rounds also gives away the position of the shooter. Engineers at Picatinny Ars...
 
 
NASA photograph by Carla Thomas

Katherine Lott awarded NASA Armstrong employee scholarship

NASA photograph by Carla Thomas Katherine Lott, the recipient of the 2014 NASA Armstrong Employee Exchange Council Joseph R. Vensel Memorial Scholarship, is congratulated by NASA Armstrong center director David McBride. Flankin...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>