WISE Snug in Its Nose Cone; Launch Set for Dec. 9

Dec 01, 2009
WISE is shown inside one-half of the nose cone, or fairing, that will protect it during launch. The spacecraft is clamped to the top of the rocket above the white conical fitting. The fairing will split open like a clamshell about five minutes after launch. Credit: United Launch Alliance/ JPL-Caltech/JPL-Caltech

NASA's Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer has been wrapped in the outer nose cone, or "fairing," that will protect it during its scheduled Dec. 9 launch from Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif.

The fairing will split open like a clamshell about five minutes after launch. The spacecraft will circle Earth over the poles, scanning the entire sky one-and-a-half times in nine months. The mission will uncover hidden cosmic objects, including the coolest stars, dark asteroids and the most luminous galaxies.

NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif., manages WISE for NASA's Science Mission Directorate, Washington. The principal investigator, Edward Wright, is at UCLA. The mission was competitively selected under NASA's Explorers Program managed by the Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Md. The was built by the Space Dynamics Laboratory, Logan, Utah, and the was built by Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp., Boulder, Colo. Science operations and data processing take place at the Infrared Processing and Analysis Center at the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena. Caltech manages JPL for NASA.

Provided by JPL/NASA (news : web)

Explore further: Earth survived near-miss from 2012 solar storm: NASA

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

NASA OKs construction of satellite

Oct 25, 2006

NASA has approved construction of a satellite that will scan the entire sky in infrared light to detect cool stars and bright galaxies.

NASA approves construction of satellite to scan galaxies

Oct 19, 2006

After eight years of study, NASA has approved the construction of an unmanned satellite that will scan the entire sky in infrared light to reveal nearby cool stars, planetary "construction zones" and the brightest galaxies ...

Recommended for you

Video: A dizzying view of the Earth from space

22 hours ago

We've got vertigo watching this video, but in a good way! This is a sped-up view of Earth from the International Space Station from the Cupola, a wraparound window that is usually used for cargo ship berthings ...

NEOWISE spots a comet that looked like an asteroid

22 hours ago

Comet C/2013 UQ4 (Catalina) has been observed by NASA's Near-Earth Object Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (NEOWISE) spacecraft just one day after passing through its closest approach to the sun. The comet ...

What the UK Space Agency can teach Australia

22 hours ago

Australia has had an active civil space program since 1947 but has much to learn if it is to capture a bigger share of growing billion dollar global space industry. ...

User comments : 0