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Cosmic Diary

Open Your Eyes

30 Dec 2009, 03:20 UTC
Open Your Eyes
(200 words excerpt, click title or image to see full post)

We have just ejected the cover from our space telescope! What a spectacular view it must have right now.
The cover floated away to cheers, hoots and high-fives in the control room. At a command from the Ace, we saw the temperatures drop into place, and we could see the small bump in the telescope’s pointing - the kick-back from the cover flying away. Now it’s somewhere in a lower orbit, waiting to slowly burn up in Earth’s atmosphere. Yippee!!!!
I have to admit that this whole in-orbit checkout process is a bit like races horses on a steeplechase course - we have a series of hurdles to jump, although we’re almost done now. Just a few more bars to leap over.
So we’re all huddled in the control room anxiously awaiting the first pictures from WISE to make it to Pasadena. The first images have been transmitted from space already, so they’re on the ground, at the White Sands ground station facility in New Mexico. They’re wending their way through the wires to California…very soon, we should have our first look at what WISE can see!

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