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Published September 13, 2012 | Published
Book Section - Chapter Open

Spitzer Warm Mission: Maximizing the Science Return in the Extended Mission Phase


The Spitzer Space Telescope is executing the third observing cycle in the 'warm' extended phase of the mission. For the warm mission, the observatory was effectively reinvented as a new, scientifically productive mission operating at a substantially lower cost. In this paper we describe the ongoing implementation of improvements in science capabilities during the extended mission phase even as the project budget continues to shrink. Improvements in pointing stability, data compression and data analysis techniques allow for new science opportunities more than 8 years after launch. Engineering analyses have shown that the mission can operate with high reliability and minimal technical risk through at least January 2017.

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© 2012 Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE).

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