See the Slide-show first!
This portion of the WIRE website is designed to help non-specialists understand the Wide Field Infrared Explorer (WIRE), what it does, and how it works.
-- An Introduction to the WIRE Project. Check
Spacecraft Updates from GSFC -- The WIRE spacecraft is on the Pegasus rocket!
Photographs of WIRE -- Photographs of the Assembled Spacecraft.
Photographs of Completed Telescope -- Photos of the completed telescope.
NASA Origins Program, WIRE: The Wide Field Infrared Explorer
The mission of the Wide-Field Infrared Explorer (WIRE) is to discover how galaxies change through time -- galaxy evolution -- and to detect the birth of new galaxies, called proto-galaxies. Understanding how, and how fast, galaxies evolve and form are some of the most important issues in modern astronomy today. Within weeks of the launch of the WIRE spacecraft into low Earth orbit, this small telescope will detect tens of thousands of starburst galaxies -- galaxies where stars are forming at a much higher rate than usual -- as well as an unknown number of proto-galaxies. The IPAC engineering staff and computer facilities will support principal investigator Dr. Perry Hacking and WIRE co-investigators in analyzing and distributing these important new data describing how our Universe has changed over time.
WIRE is a small, focussed and fast-paced mission. Recent advances in detector technology will enable WIRE to make a major contribution to astrophysics despite its small size and modest pricetag. The telescope has a 12" mirror and no moving parts -- the entire instrument could easily fit in the backseat of a small car.
WIRE is part of NASA's Small Explorer Program. Launch is scheduled for March 1999.
|Where is WIRE?||When is WIRE?|
|Who is WIRE?||How Does WIRE Work?||WIRE Science Fact Sheet|
|Slide Show||Glossary of Terms||Frequently Asked Questions|
|Spacecraft Photos||Telescope Photos||Cryostat Photos|
|Detector Photos||WIRE Links||Other Related Links|
|WIRE for Astronomers|
Web Page Last Updated by Joe Mabry | Tom Barlow
Last Updated: 1/30/99