PIA20913: Spitzer Beyond (Artist's Concept)
 Mission:  Spitzer Space Telescope
 Product Size:  4533 x 2550 pixels (w x h)
 Produced By:  JPL
 Full-Res TIFF:  PIA20913.tif (17.43 MB)
 Full-Res JPEG:  PIA20913.jpg (442.8 kB)

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This artist's concept shows NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope. Spitzer begins its "Beyond" mission phase on Oct. 1, 2016. Spitzer is depicted in the orientation it assumes to establish communications with ground stations.

Spitzer is over 130 million miles (210 million kilometers) away from Earth, or about 1.5 times the distance between Earth and the Sun. The selected research proposals for Spitzer's Beyond phase include a variety of objects that the mission was not originally planned to address -- such as galaxies in the early universe, the black hole at the center of the Milky Way and exoplanets.

Spitzer faces increasing challenges and risks in its Beyond phase. To enable this riskier mode of operations, the mission team will have to override some autonomous safety systems. Mission engineers are hard at work preparing for these new challenges.

JPL manages the Spitzer Space Telescope mission for NASA's Science Mission Directorate, Washington. Science operations are conducted at the Spitzer Science Center at Caltech in Pasadena, California. Spacecraft operations are based at Lockheed Martin Space Systems Company, Littleton, Colorado. Data are archived at the Infrared Science Archive housed at the Infrared Processing and Analysis Center at Caltech. Caltech manages JPL for NASA. For more information about Spitzer, visit:

For more information about the Spitzer mission, visit http://www.nasa.gov/spitzer and http://spitzer.caltech.edu.

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