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NASA Shuts Down Prolific Sky-Mapping Space Telescope

February 20, 2011 Comments off

A prolific sky-mapping telescope that has spent more than a year scanning the heavens for asteroids, comets and other cosmic objects received its last command today (Feb. 17).

NASA shut down its WISE spacecraft – short for Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer – at 3:00 p.m. EST (2000 UTC) today. The mission’s principal investigator, Ned Wright of the University of California in Los Angeles, sent the final command to the now-hibernating spacecraft, according to an update from the WISE mission’s official Twitter account.

“The WISE spacecraft will remain in hibernation without ground contacts awaiting possible future use,” NASA officials said via Twitter.

WISE launched on Dec. 14, 2009 to begin a 10-month mission to collect Read more…