The US space agency has announced the completion of the Spitzer telescope, which has been observing in space for more than 16 years, NASA said Thursday.
"On Thursday at 17.30 US East Coast time, the mission specialists confirmed that the device went into safe mode, completing all its scientific work. After the shutdown was confirmed, the head of the Spitzer project, Joseph Hunt, announced the official completion of the mission," NASA.
The Spitzer Space Telescope was launched in 2003 to observe outer space in the infrared spectrum. The mission of the apparatus was extended many times, thanks to which a number of scientific discoveries were made, including in the field of searching for exoplanets.
As the acting head of the NASA science department Thomas Zurbuchen said in connection with the completion of the telescope's work, Spitzer spoke about completely new aspects of space and helped to better understand how the universe works, answer questions about its origin, whether we are alone in it …
The Spitzer orbiting telescope and an unusual gravitational lens helped astronomers find, for the first time, a planet in the vicinity of the center of the Milky Way, which is 13,000 light-years distant from Earth.
NASA hopes that as the data collected by the telescope is in the public domain, scientists from around the world will continue to use its legacy for future scientific discoveries.
Initially, the Spitzer mission was designed for 6 years, but, despite the completion of the service of a number of his instruments, he continued to observe the universe for another 10, 5 years.