IPAC provides scientific operations support and data-intensive processing & archiving services to a large number of NASA and NSF-funded astronomy and astrophysics missions. A unique partnership between the California Institute of Technology and NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, IPAC has played an integral role in ensuring a rich science return to the broad scientific community by:
Carrying out technically and scientifically demanding processing tasks
Developing and maintaining science data archives
Creating and sustaining access and analysis tools
Providing science leadership and technical consulting for new projects
Conducting a wide variety of education and outreach efforts aimed at the general public
Interfacing between projects and the astronomical community
Managing science programs on behalf of NASA
IPAC serves as the administrative home of the NASA Exoplanet Science Institute, and is a partner in several large scale, high-impact future missions like the Nancy Grace Roman Space Telescope, the Vera C. Rubin Observatory, and Euclid. IPAC provides active support to multiple missions and programs, past, present and in development including Roman, Euclid, Herschel, Spitzer, Planck, WISE, Keck, NuSTAR, ISO, IRAS, WISE/NEOWISE and many more. IPAC served as the administrative home of NASA's Spitzer Science Center, Herschel Science Center, and the Planck mission's US Data Center.
IPAC maintains its archiving legacy with:
NASA's Extragalactic Database (NED) - The pre-eminent repository for data, images and published references for objects outside our Milky Way Galaxy.
NASA's Infrared Science Archive (IRSA) - A one-stop shop for infrared data obtained from NASA missions, with special emphasis on software tools and Internet services.
NASA Exoplanet Archive - a general purpose stellar and planetary archive dedicated to supporting the astronomical community’s exoplanet discovery and characterization activities.
IPAC also offers expertise in public communications, public affairs, education and public outreach. The IPAC Communications Group helps missions establish a presence in popular culture, on the Internet, coverage via the popular and technical media, and in classrooms all over the world by creating compelling visualization, websites, multimedia, events and written content.