A Short and Personal History of the Spitzer Space Telescope
The Spitzer Space Telescope, born as the Shuttle Infrared Telescope Facility (SIRTF) and later the Space Infrared Telescope Facility (still SIRTF), was under discussion and development within NASA and the scientific community for more than 30 years prior to its launch in 2003. This brief history chronicles a few of the highlights and the lowlights of those 30 years from the authors personal perspective. A much more comprehensive history of SIRTF/Spitzer has been written by George Rieke (2006).
Additional Information© 2006 Astronomical Society of the Pacific. The Spitzer Space Telescope is operated by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, under NASA Contract 1407. The opinions expressed in this article are entirely the author's, not those of JPL/Caltech or NASA. The author thanks George Rieke for comments and for sharing a Spitzer chronology, Larry Simmons for comments, and Daniel Stern for assistance with preparing the manuscript.