SpaceWERX, the “innovation arm” of the United States Space Force recently selected Rhea Space Activity, a Washington-based astrophysics startup, to develop the Spitzer Resurrector Mission.
- Spitzer Telescope is a S. satellite the fourth and last of the NASA fleet of “Great Observatories” satellites.
- It was the third space telescope that was dedicated to infrared imaging and was launched in 2003.
- The satellite telescope orbits the Sun about one astronomical unit (AU) in an Earth-trailing orbit.
- It studied the cosmos at infrared wavelengths.
- It spent more than 16 years gathering information on the origin, evolution, and composition of planets and smaller bodies, stars, galaxies, and the universe as a whole.
- It was named in honour of Lyman Spitzer, Jr., an American astrophysicist who in a seminal 1946 paper foresaw the power of astronomical telescopes operating in space.
Spitzer Resurrector Mission:
- It is designed to “restart” the telescope.
- The telescope is about two AU away from the Earth.
- In its current location, direct communications with Earth are not possible.
- The Mission will confirm that Spitzer has been restored to its original performance capabilities.