Feeds

NASA's WISE heads skywards

Embarks on six-month infrared mission

A new approach to endpoint data protection

NASA's Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer, aka WISE, is up and running following a successful launch at 14:09 GMT today from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California.

The launch of WISE. Pic: NASAThe 661kg spacecraft was lifted aloft by a Delta II rocket, following a launch knock-back last week caused by an "anomaly in the motion of a booster steering engine".

Shortly after separation from the rocket, WISE sent back its first signals to ground controllers and appears to be in good shape.

Over six months, WISE will operate at an altitude of 525km, passing over the poles 15 times a day and snapping every 11 seconds through its 40-cm (16-inch) telescope to eventually capture around 1,500,000 images of the entire sky in the infrared "with a sensitivity hundreds of times greater than ever before".

NASA's summary explains that the mission will "uncover objects never seen before", including brown dwarfs, ultraluminous infrared galaxies and "disks of planetary debris around young stars".

The spacecraft is also tasked with detecting "near-Earth objects, both asteroids and comets, with orbits that come close to crossing Earth's path". NASA expects to find "hundreds" of these bodies, and the catalogue will enable an estimate of "approximately how often Earth can expect an encounter with a potentially hazardous asteroid".

NASA's main WISE page is here, the mission overview here, and further spacecraft and instrumentation details are here. ®

The Essential Guide to IT Transformation

More from The Register

next story
Just TWO climate committee MPs contradict IPCC: The two with SCIENCE degrees
'Greenhouse effect is real, but as for the rest of it ...'
Boffins spot weirder quantum capers as neutrons take the high road, spin takes the low
Cheshire cat effect see neutrons and their properties walk different paths
Brit amateur payload set to complete full circle around PLANET EARTH
Ultralight solar radio tracker in glorious 25,000km almost-space odyssey
NASA Mars rover FINALLY equals 1973 Soviet benchmark
Yet to surpass ancient Greek one, however
Famous 'Dish' radio telescope to be emptied in budget crisis: CSIRO
Radio astronomy suffering to protect Square Kilometre Array
BEST BATTERY EVER: All lithium, all the time, plus a dash of carbon nano-stuff
We have found the Holy Grail (of batteries) - boffins
prev story

Whitepapers

7 Elements of Radically Simple OS Migration
Avoid the typical headaches of OS migration during your next project by learning about 7 elements of radically simple OS migration.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Solving today's distributed Big Data backup challenges
Enable IT efficiency and allow a firm to access and reuse corporate information for competitive advantage, ultimately changing business outcomes.
A new approach to endpoint data protection
What is the best way to ensure comprehensive visibility, management, and control of information on both company-owned and employee-owned devices?