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Originally posted by Enlightenme1111
Do you have a link that states WISE is discontinued? I went to the official site and saw updates as recent as late October, with no mention of shutting down.
I also googled "Why was WISE discontinued" and the only thing I found was this thread on the first page of google. Congrats, you're now famous
For how long will WISE collect data?
6 months, that’s all it takes to survey the entire sky.
Is there a possibility of an extended mission? (And what would that gain?)
The cryogen will last 10 months. There is a 1 month in-orbit check out period, and then the 6–month survey. The telescope will likely operate for an additional 3 months. A second pass at half the sky would increase the sensitivity of that part of the survey, find more Near-Earth Asteroids, help determine variability of some objects, and the distance and motion of other nearby objects.
Why do you need to cool the telescope optics and detectors?
All objects produce infrared light and the warmer they are the more they produce. The telescope needs to be colder than the objects in space it will observe so that it can see the dim infrared emission from them rather than from the telescope itself.
How cold will the components be?
The optics will be cooled to less than 20 degrees centigrade above absolute zero (20 Kelvins). The detectors need to be cooled further (particularly the Si:As) to lower noise detection. The Si:As detector will be cooled to less than 8 Kelvins. The MCT detectors operate at higher T, around 32 Kelvin.
How will you keep it that cold?
We will fill a giant thermos, called a cryostat, with solid hydrogen that surrounds the telescope.
How do you get the solid hydrogen in the telescope?
Liquid helium is used to cool hydrogen gas down into a solid state. The hydrogen is frozen around an aluminum foam structure inside the cryostat that conducts heat uniformly from the telescope into the solid hydrogen.
This tale with its message of simplicity and thrift--not to mention a failure of common sense in a bureaucracy--floats around the Internet, hopping from in-box to in-box, and even surfaced during a 2002 episode of the West Wing. But, alas, it is just a myth.
Originally, NASA astronauts, like the Soviet cosmonauts, used pencils, according to NASA historians. In fact, NASA ordered 34 mechanical pencils from Houston's Tycam Engineering Manufacturing, Inc., in 1965. They paid $4,382.50 or $128.89 per pencil. When these prices became public, there was an outcry and NASA scrambled to find something cheaper for the astronauts to use.
Pencils may not have been the best choice anyway. The tips flaked and broke off, drifting in microgravity where they could potentially harm an astronaut or equipment. And pencils are flammable--a quality NASA wanted to avoid in onboard objects after the Apollo 1 fire.