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Proceedings Paper

Spitzer's model for dealing with the end of the cryogenic mission
Author(s): Suzanne R. Dodd; Lisa Storrie-Lombardi; Charles P. Scott
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Paper Abstract

The Spitzer Space Telescope is a cryogenically cooled telescope operating three instruments in wavelengths ranging from 3.6 microns to 160 microns. Spitzer, the last of NASA's Great Observatories, was launched in August 2003 and has been operating for 4.5 years of an expected 5.5 year cryogen mission. The highly efficient Observatory has provided NASA and the science community with unprecedented data on galaxies, star formation, interstellar medium, exoplanets, and other fundamental astronomical topics. Spitzer's helium lifetime is predicted to end on April 18, 2009, with an uncertainty of +/- 3 months. Planning for this cryogen end involves many diverse areas of the project and is complicated due to the uncertainty in the actual date of helium depletion. This paper will describe how the Spitzer team is accommodating the unknown end date in the areas of observation selection, planning and scheduling, spacecraft and instrument monitoring, data processing and archiving, and finally, budgeting and staffing. This work was performed at the California Institute of Technology under contract to the National Aeronautics and Space Administration.

Paper Details

Date Published: 12 July 2008
PDF: 9 pages
Proc. SPIE 7016, Observatory Operations: Strategies, Processes, and Systems II, 70160D (12 July 2008); doi: 10.1117/12.788131
Show Author Affiliations
Suzanne R. Dodd, Spitzer Science Ctr., California Institute of Technology (United States)
Lisa Storrie-Lombardi, Spitzer Science Ctr., California Institute of Technology (United States)
Charles P. Scott, Jet Propulsion Lab. (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 7016:
Observatory Operations: Strategies, Processes, and Systems II
Roger J. Brissenden; David R. Silva, Editor(s)

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