Spitzer Telescope Diagram

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Most of the early concepts envisioned repeated flights aboard the NASA Space Shuttle. This approach was developed in an era when the Shuttle program was expected to support weekly flights of up to 30 days duration. A May 1983 NASA proposal described SIRTF as a Shuttle-attached mission, with an evolving scientific instrument payload. Several flights were anticipated with a probable transition into a more extended mode of operation, possibly in association with a future space platform or space station. SIRTF would be a 1-meter class, cryogenically cooled, multi-user facility consisting of a telescope and associated focal plane instruments. It would be launched on the Space Shuttle and remain attached to the Shuttle as a Spacelab payload during astronomical observations, after which it would be returned to Earth for refurbishment prior to re-flight. The first flight was expected to occur about 1990, with the succeeding flights anticipated beginning approximately one year later. However, the Spacelab-2 flight aboard STS-51-F showed that the Shuttle environment was poorly suited to an onboard infrared telescope due to contamination from the relatively "dirty" vacuum associated with the orbiters. By September 1983 NASA was considering the "possibility of a long duration [free-flyer] SIRTF mission".

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Photogallery Spitzer Telescope Diagram:


Spitzer Telescope Diagram


Spitzer Telescope Diagram


Spitzer Telescope Diagram


Spitzer Telescope Diagram


Spitzer Telescope Diagram


Spitzer Telescope Diagram


Spitzer Telescope Diagram


Spitzer Telescope Diagram


Spitzer Telescope Diagram


Spitzer Telescope Diagram


Spitzer Telescope Diagram


Spitzer Telescope Diagram


Spitzer Telescope Diagram


Spitzer Telescope Diagram