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NASA Launches Solar-Powered Asteroid-Detecting Telescope
Posted By Ariel Schwartz On December 14, 2009 @ 12:00 pm In Solar Power | No Comments
This morning NASA launched the WISE  (Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer), a solar-powered infrared telescope that will scan the skies for earth-threatening asteroids and comets. We love covering all things green, but solar power plants  and eco-friendly architecture  mean very little if the planet has been obliterated by an asteroid – which is why NASA’s new satellite is so exciting.
The solar-powered WISE isn’t the first infrared spacecraft to travel through space — NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope  and the European Space Agency’s Herschel Space Observatory  are also currently circling the heavens — but WISE is the only telescope to scan the entire sky looking for asteroids and comets that are threatening to Earth.
The spacecraft, which will spend the next 9 months in orbit, will cover the entire sky 1.5 times and take pictures every 11 seconds. All data will be downloaded 4 times daily via radio transmission to Earth-based computers. Eventually, NASA will have enough data to create a master image of the sky, complete with asteroids, comets, and other objects. Here’s hoping WISE doesn’t find anything too threatening!
+ NASA 
Via Smart Planet 
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URL to article: http://inhabitat.com/nasa-launches-solar-powered-asteroid-detecting-telescope/
URLs in this post:
 WISE: http://www.nasa.gov/home/hqnews/2009/dec/HQ_M09-229_WISE_launch_advisory.html
 solar power plants: http://www.inhabitat.com/solar-power/
 eco-friendly architecture: http://www.inhabitat.com/architecture/
 Spitzer Space Telescope: http://www.spitzer.caltech.edu/
 Herschel Space Observatory: http://sci.esa.int/science-e/www/area/index.cfm?fareaid=16
 + NASA: http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/WISE/launch/launch_blog.html
 Smart Planet: http://www.smartplanet.com/business/blog/smart-takes/nasa-to-launch-infrared-telescope-to-scan-entire-sky/2773/
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