Spacecraft, Spitzer Telescope Model, 1/10 scale

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Display Status:

This object is on display in the Explore the Universe exhibition at the National Air and Space Museum in Washington, DC.

Collection Item Summary:

This 1/10th scale model of the Spitzer Space Telescope, formerly known as the Space Infrared Telescope Facility, was manufactured by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory for display purposes. It is soldered and screwed together. Plastic components are painted and coated. Textured surfaces mirror those of the original telescope. The Kapton and aluminized Mylar coverings are adhered to the surfaces. Decals are also adhered to the surfaces in some areas.

The Spitzer Telescope was the fourth in NASA’s “Great Observatories” along with Hubble, Chandra, and the Compton Gamma Ray Observatory. The “Great Observatory Era 1989-2010” was a time of “rising internationalization” however Spitzer, though available world-wide to astronomers on a peer-reviewed competitive basis, is a completely American project. Spitzer, a 5-meter long craft with an .85 meter mirror, built by the Ball Aerospace Corporation and Lockheed Martin, was launched in 2003 and operated in its “cold” mode until May 2009 when its coolant was depleted. Since then it has continued to observe the infrared universe in a “warm” mode, and is presently maintaining its basic engineering functions.

In 2010, the Jet Propulsion Laboratory transferred this model to the Museum.

Collection Item Long Description:

Data Source

National Air and Space Museum

Rights

Do not reproduce without permission from the Smithsonian Institution, National Air and Space Museum

Owner

Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology

Credit Line

Transferred from the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, Spitzer Science Center, Pasadena, CA

Materials

Plastic, Kapton, Mylar, Paint

Dimensions

Approx 18 in. length x 8 in. diameter

Country of Origin

United States of America

Type

MODELS-Unmanned Spacecraft & Parts

Inventory Number

A20170018000