New Delhi :
Launched in 2003 as NASA's Great Observatory for infrared exploration of the Universe, the Spitzer Space Telescope is the fourth and final of the NASA Great Observatories program.
The National Aeronautics and Space Administration's (NASA) is on the lookout for people and organisations that will take over the operation of the Spitzer Space Telescope with non NASA funds as because NASA will discontinue the funding from march 2019.
Spitzer is expected to be able to support its current operations through September 2019, and operations beyond September 2020 should be possible for observing modes with the lowest data volume.
Spitzer has pushed the boundaries of space science and technology numerous times while exploring the universe in infrared light. From its prime "cold" mission, it transitioned to a "warm mission" in May 2009 when the liquid helium coolant that chilled its instruments ran out.
The cost for operating Spitzer for fiscal year 2018 is $14 million. Recently, Spitzer revealed the seven Earth-size exoplanets of TRAPPIST-1.
(With inputs from NASA)