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Spitzer Space Telescope

A space-based, cryogenically-cooled observatory that collects infrared light from celestial objects. The telescope was launched in 2003 as the last of NASA’s Great Observatories Program. Prior to running out of liquid helium, its cryogenic material, in May 2009, the telescope operated at a few degrees above absolute zero. In the current warm mode of operations, Spitzer can continue to operate until late in this decade, providing a science mission of 10-15 years.