Indiana Astronomical Society
Spitzer Space Telescope
The Spitzer Space Telescope (formerly the Space Infrared Telescope Facility, SIRTF) is an infrared space observatory launched in 2003. It is the fourth and final of NASA's Great Observatories. In keeping with NASA tradition, the telescope was renamed after successful demonstration of operation, on December 18, 2003. Unlike most telescopes which are named after famous deceased astronomers by a board of scientists, the name for SIRTF was obtained from a contest open to the general public.
The result was it being named in honor of Lyman Spitzer, one of the 20th century's great scientists. Though
he was not the first to propose the idea of the space telescope, Spitzer has been cited for his
pioneering contributions to rocketry and astronomy, as well as "his vision and leadership in
articulating the advantages and benefits to be realized from the Space Telescope Program.
Visit the Spitzer Space Telescope home page