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Two Cosmic Explorers Named 'Best of What's New' (GALEX & SIRTF)

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Old November 7th 03, 04:20 PM
Ron Baalke
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Default Two Cosmic Explorers Named 'Best of What's New' (GALEX & SIRTF)

Donald Savage
Headquarters, Washington Nov. 7, 2003
(Phone: 202/358-1547)

Nancy Neal
Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Md.
(Phone: 301/286-0039)

Jane Platt
Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif.
(Phone: 818/354-0880)

RELEASE: 03-356


Two recently launched NASA missions won "Best of What's
New" awards from Popular Science magazine. The two missions,
the Space Infrared Telescope Facility (SIRTF) and Galaxy
Evolution Explorer (GALEX), which both probe the far reaches
of our universe, are among the winners featured in the
magazine's special December issue.

From thousands of products and developments, the magazine
staff chose the top 100 technological innovations, in 12
categories, that could change the way we think about the
future. The two NASA missions are being honored in the
Aviation and Space category.

SIRTF, launched August 25, 2003, studies the universe in
infrared wavelengths, while GALEX, launched April 28, 2003,
uses ultraviolet detectors. Examining the cosmos at various
wavelengths reveals different objects and phenomena. SIRTF
completed NASA's suite of Great Observatories, including the
Hubble Space Telescope, Compton Gamma Ray Observatory and
Chandra X-ray Observatory.

SIRTF pierces cosmic dust to study celestial objects too
cool, too dust-enshrouded or too far away to be seen
otherwise. It will observe galaxies, stars, and dusty discs
around nearby stars, which may be "planetary construction

"I'm delighted to receive this honor on behalf of our entire
team, which has worked diligently to ensure the mission will
gather revolutionary science data and beautiful images," said
Project Manager Dave Gallagher, of NASA's Jet Propulsion
Laboratory (JPL), Pasadena, Calif.

GALEX will scrutinize a million galaxies across 10 billion
years of cosmic history. The data will help astronomers
determine when the stars we see in our nighttime sky had
their origins. The mission will help scientists understand
how the Milky Way and other galaxies were formed.

"We're honored to be recognized by Popular Science, and look
forward to sharing the exciting views of the universe
arriving daily from the spacecraft," said GALEX Project
Manager Dr. James Fanson, also of JPL.

JPL manages the SIRTF mission for NASA's Office of Space
Science, Washington, and conducts flight operations. NASA's
Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC), Greenbelt, Md., was
responsible for building the Infrared Array Camera.

The SIRTF Science Center at the California Institute of
Technology (Caltech), Pasadena, will handle all aspects of
science operations, including data processing. Lockheed
Martin Space Systems Company, Sunnyvale, Calif., is
responsible for spacecraft design and development, and
observatory systems engineering, integration and testing.
Ball Aerospace and Technologies Corporation, Boulder, Colo.,
is responsible for the design and development of the cryo-
telescope assembly and integration of the science-instrument
cold assemblies into the cryostat, and is subcontractor for
two science instruments.

Caltech leads the GALEX mission and also is responsible for
science operations and data analysis. JPL, a division of
Caltech, manages the mission and built the science
instrument. The mission was developed under NASA's Explorers
Program, managed by GSFC. The mission's international
partners include South Korea and France.

Information about the Space Infrared Telescope Facility and
the Galaxy Evolution Explorer is available on the Internet



For information about NASA on the Internet, visit:




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