Spitzer Space Telescope: Unprecedented Efficiency and Excellent Science on a Limited Budget

Lisa Storrie-Lombardi (Spitzer Science Center, Caltech)


The Spitzer Space Telescope completed nearly six years of cryogenic operations in 2009 and in August 2011 began the third year of 'warm' science observations. Over 50,000 hours of science have been executed in the first 8 years of the mission. Nearly 40% of the cryogenic mission project budget was devoted to data analysis funding provided directly to the astronomical community. For the warm mission, the observatory was effectively reinvented as a new, scientifically productive mission operating at a substantially lower cost. In this paper we discuss how the design of the science operations, observing modes and observing program for the cryogenic mission led to very high observing efficiencies and maximized the observatory time devoted to science.
The philosophy of maximizing science output per dollar has continued in the warm mission. The transition to warm operations has maintained an outstanding science program while reducing the project budget by nearly 70% from the cryogenic mission level.

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Paper ID: I11

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