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.

The Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer, in its design stage at the University of California-Los Angeles for eight years, is to be launched late in 2009. It will orbit the Earth and operate for at least seven months, with data expected to be broadcast several times daily.

Edward Wright, UCLA professor of physics and astronomy, is WISE's principal investigator. NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif., will manage the mission, with JPL's William Irace as project manager, NASA said.

WISE will survey the cosmos with infrared detectors 500 times more sensitive than those used in previous survey missions.

Wright said that 99 percent of the sky has not been observed yet with this kind of sensitivity, and that the survey should be able to find and observe at least 100 million galaxies and hundreds of nearby cool stars that are currently undetectable.

"This mission has incredible power for discovery," Wright said. "I expect that what we find will be amazing. There is still so much we don't know."

Copyright 2006 by United Press International

Explore further: Obama salutes 45th anniversary of US astronauts' Moon landing

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Taking NASA-USGS's Landsat 8 to the beach

Jul 14, 2014

Some things go swimmingly with a summer trip to the beach – sunscreen, mystery novels, cold beverages and sandcastles. Other things – like aquatic algae – are best avoided.

Landsat looks to the Moon (w/ Video)

Jul 12, 2014

Every full moon, Landsat 8 turns its back on Earth. As the satellite's orbit takes it to the nighttime side of the planet, Landsat 8 pivots to point at the moon. It scans the distant lunar surface multiple ...

Comet Pan-STARRS marches across the sky

Jul 04, 2014

(Phys.org) —NASA's NEOWISE mission captured a series of pictures of comet C/2012 K1—also known as comet Pan-STARRS—as it swept across our skies in May 2014.

Recommended for you

Heat testing the miniature Aausat 4 satellite

2 hours ago

The miniature Aausat satellite undergoes repeated temperature variations in a vacuum chamber, cooling the CubeSat to –10°C and heating it to +45°C for more than two weeks. This harsh baptism will make ...

New meteor shower "just a memory" of what once was there

2 hours ago

The weak display of last month's Camelopardalids meteor shower, the result of the close passage of comet 209P/LINEAR, may have disappointed backyard observers, but this never-before-seen shower now has scientists ...

New launch date set for ISS delivery vessel

19 hours ago

A robot ship will be launched from Kourou, French Guiana, after a five-day delay on July 29 to deliver provisions to the International Space Station, space transport firm Arianespace said Tuesday.

The heart of an astronaut, five years on

20 hours ago

The heart of an astronaut is a much-studied thing. Scientists have analyzed its blood flow, rhythms, atrophy and, through journal studies, even matters of the heart. But for the first time, researchers are ...

User comments : 0