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NASA's WISE Eye Spies First Glimpse of the Starry Sky
NASA's Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer, or WISE, has captured its first look at the starry sky that it will soon begin surveying in infrared light.
Launched on Dec. 14, WISE will scan the entire sky for millions of hidden objects, including asteroids, "failed" stars and powerful galaxies. WISE data will serve as navigation charts for other missions, such as NASA's Hubble and Spitzer Space Telescopes, pointing them to the most interesting targets the mission finds.

Carina.jpg
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Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/UCLA


A new WISE infrared image was taken shortly after the space telescope's cover was removed, exposing the instrument's detectors to starlight for the first time. The picture shows about 3,000 stars in the Carina constellation.

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First images from the WISE infrared satellite

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U.S. scientists at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) said on Sunday they had removed the lens cap from NASA's Wide-Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE), the first basic step to see the first images from WISE.

"The cover floated away as we planned" - William Irace, the mission's project manager at JPL, headquartered in Pasadena, Los Angeles.


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NASA's newest space telescope, which launched from Vandenberg Air Force Base on Dec. 14, jettisoned its protective cover Tuesday, a step toward beginning its pioneering mission to scan the sky.
The Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer, or WISE, shed the cover and "opened its eyes" in a problem-free manoeuvre aimed at preparing the spacecraft to do its job, officials reported late Tuesday afternoon.

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TLE Data
WISE LENS COVER
1 36134U 09071C 09364.18016567 .00001677 00000-0 10000-3 0 31
2 36134 097.5036 006.2951 0004008 069.0871 291.0773 15.12520017 42


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NASA's WISE Space Telescope Jettisons Its Cover

Engineers and scientists say the manoeuvre went off without a hitch, and everything is working properly. The mission's "first-light" images of the sky will be released to the public in about a month, after the telescope has been fully calibrated.
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All systems are behaving as expected on NASA's Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE), which rocketed into the sky just before dawn on Dec. 14 from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California. The mission will undergo a one-month checkout before beginning the most detailed survey yet of the entire sky in infrared light. Hundreds of millions of objects will populate its vast catalogue, including dark asteroids, the closest "failed" stars and tremendously energetic galaxies.
Shortly after the space telescope reached its polar orbit around Earth on Dec. 14, it acquired the sun's position and lined up with its solar panels facing the sun. Engineers and scientists continue to check out the spacecraft's pointing-control system in preparation for jettisoning the instrument's cover, an event now scheduled for Dec. 29. With the cover off, WISE will get its first look at the sky.

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Period:         95.22
Inclination:   97.5
Apogee:       532
Perigee:       527

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Mission planners are celebrating Vandenberg's final launch of the year following the successful launch of a Delta II rocket from Space Launch Complex-2 Dec. 14 at 6:09 a.m.
The rocket carried NASA's Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer satellite.
With confirmation of the payload's delivery into orbit and signal acquisition, the launch was pronounced a success.

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