Problems With WIRE Spacecraft End Mission
News story originally written on March 8, 1999
The Wide-Field Infrared Explorer (WIRE) will not be able to complete its
scientific mission due to an on-board problem.
Soon after launch, hydrogen began venting from the spacecraft, which
caused it to start spinning. Even though controllers are well on the way
to gaining control of the craft, the hydrogen supply has been deleted.
The hydrogen was needed to cool the on-board instruments.
"We are very disappointed at the loss of WIRE's science program," said Dr.
Ed Weiler, NASA's Associate Administrator for Space Science. "We are
establishing a formal anomaly investigation board to find out what
WIRE's mission was to study newly forming galaxies. By studying stars in
different stages of formation, scientists hoped to better understand how
our own sun
Shop Windows to the Universe Science Store!
Our online store
includes issues of NESTA's quarterly journal, The Earth Scientist
, full of classroom activities on different topics in Earth and space science, as well as books
on science education!
You might also be interested in:
It was another exciting and frustrating year for the space science program. It seemed that every step forward led to one backwards. Either way, NASA led the way to a great century of discovery. Unfortunately,...more
The Space Shuttle Discovery lifted off from Kennedy Space Center at 2:19 p.m. EST, October 29th. The sky was clear and the weather was great as Discovery took 8 1/2 minutes to reach orbit for the Unitied...more
A moon was discovered orbiting the asteroid, Eugenia. This is only the second time in history that a satellite has been seen circling an asteroid. A special mirror allowed scientists to find the moon...more
Will Russia ever put the service module for the International Space Station in space? NASA officials are demanding an answer from the Russian government. The necessary service module is currently waiting...more
During a period of about two days in early May, 1998, the ACE spacecraft was immersed in plasma associated with a coronal mass ejection (CME). The SWICS instrument on ACE, which determines unambiguously...more
J.S. Maini of the Canadian Forest Service has referred to forests as the "heart and lungs of the world." Forests reduce soil erosion, maintain water quality, contribute to atmospheric humidity and cloud...more
In late April through mid-May 2002, all five naked-eye planets are visible simultaneously in the night sky! This is includes Mercury which is generally very hard to see because of its proximity to the...more