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NASA Spitzer Space Telescope • Jet Propulsion Laboratory
• California Institute of Technology
• Vision for Space Exploration
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Frame Frame About the Spitzer Space Telescope Frame Frame
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Fast Facts
 
Current Status
 
Spitzer History
 
Spitzer Technology
 
Spitzer Science
 
Lyman Spitzer, Jr.
 

Fast Facts

The Spitzer Space Telescope is a space-borne, cryogenically-cooled infrared observatory capable of studying objects ranging from our Solar System to the distant reaches of the Universe. Spitzer is the final element in NASA's Great Observatories Program, and an important scientific and technical cornerstone of the Astronomical Search for Origins Program.

Launch Date: 25 August 2003
Launch Vehicle/Site: Delta 7920H ELV / Cape Canaveral, Florida
Estimated Lifetime: 2.5 years (minimum); 5+ years (goal)
Orbit: Earth-trailing, Heliocentric
Wavelength Coverage: 3 - 180 microns
Telescope: 85 cm diameter (33.5 Inches), f/12 lightweight Beryllium, cooled to less 5.5 K
Diffraction Limit: 6.5 microns
Science Capabilities: Imaging / Photometry, 3-180 microns
Spectroscopy, 5-40 microns
Spectrophotometry, 50-100 microns
Planetary Tracking: 1 arcsec / sec
Cryogen / Volume: Liquid Helium / 360 liters (95 Gallons)
Launch Mass: 950 kg (2094 lb) [Observatory: 851.5 kg, Cover: 6.0 kg, Helium: 50.4 kg, Nitrogen Propellant: 15.6 kg]

Major Innovations

  • Choice of Orbit
  • Warm-Launch Architecture
  • New Generation of Large-Format Detector Arrays
  • Lightweight, cryogenic optics

The Spitzer Team

Acronyms List (pdf)

Fact Sheet (pdf)



The Spitzer Space Telescope is a NASA mission managed by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory. This website is maintained by the Spitzer Science Center, located on the campus of the California Institute of Technology and part of NASA's Infrared Processing and Analysis Center. Privacy Policy

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