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28 August 1998 Space Infrared Telescope Facility (SIRTF) enters development
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The Space IR Telescope Facility (SIRTF), the last of NASA's 'Great Observatories' is entering its development phase. Ongoing advances in IR detector technology, coupled with innovative choices in orbit and system architecture, have maintained the vitality of SIRTF's scientific capability at a small fraction of the original development cost. The great sensitivity of SIRTF and its high observing efficiency promise to yield a rich legacy of science results. SIRTF is on a fast-track development schedule, with launch in December 2001. While the current baseline calls for a minimum 2.5-year cryogenic lifetime, recent programmatic and engineering development suggest that a 5-year lifetime is within reach. More than 75 percent of the SIRTF observing time will be available to the general community. We summarize the scientific capabilities and the technical specifications for the mission, including descriptions of the three-instrument payload. We will focus on the SIRTF science observations concepts, and describe SIRTF's seven observing modes - the modes by which the community will interface with the Observatory. The pre- and post-launch user services available at the SIRTF Science Center will also be presented. We include a listing of events likely to be of interest to potential SIRTF users between now and launch.
© (1998) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.
Michael D. Bicay, Michael W. Werner, William B. Latter, and Larry L. Simmons "Space Infrared Telescope Facility (SIRTF) enters development", Proc. SPIE 3356, Space Telescopes and Instruments V, (28 August 1998);


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