Spitzer Space Telescope: 10th Anniversary!! Adult Apron
The Spitzer Space Telescope (SST), formerly the Space Infrared Telescope Facility (SIRTF) is an infrared space observatory launched in 2003. It is the fourth and final of the NASA Great Observatories program. The planned mission period was to be 2.5 years with a pre-launch expectation that the mission could extend to five or slightly more years until the onboard liquid helium supply was exhausted. This occurred on 15 May 2009. Without liquid helium to cool the telescope to the very cold temperatures needed to operate, most of the instruments are no longer usable. However, the two shortest wavelength modules of the IRAC camera are still operable with the same sensitivity as before the cryogen was exhausted, and will continue to be used in the Spitzer Warm Mission. In keeping with NASA tradition, the telescope was renamed after its successful demonstration of operation, on December 18, 2003. Unlike most telescopes which are named after famous deceased astronomers by a board of scientists, the new name for SIRTF was obtained from a contest open to the general public. Questions? Comments? We're officially licensed by NASA ... so we do special orders and customization and its always free. Whether its the NASA, ESA or JPL logo on the back or shirt or inside a card, we add these at no additional cost.