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ToSeek
2006-May-16, 04:44 PM
Review: The Last of the Great Observatories (http://www.thespacereview.com/article/620/1)


On August 25, 2003, a Delta 2 successfully launched NASA’s Space Infrared Telescope Facility (SIRTF), the fourth and final mission in NASA’s “Great Observatories” program of space-based telescopes led by the Hubble Space Telescope. While the launch marked the beginning of a several-year mission by the spacecraft (renamed the Spitzer Space Telescope in late 2003) to study the universe at infrared wavelengths, it also marked the end of a much longer odyssey to develop the spacecraft, a journey that required careful navigation of the treacherous shoals of technology and budget constraints. The challenges faced by the project are engagingly described in The Last of the Great Observatories, by George Rieke, one of the project’s key scientists.