Science and Exploration

The Science Case for an Extended Spitzer Mission

By Keith Cowing
Press Release
October 11, 2017
Filed under , , ,
The Science Case for an Extended Spitzer Mission
Spitzer Space Telescope

Although the final observations of the Spitzer Warm Mission are currently scheduled for March 2019, it can continue operations through the end of the decade with no loss of photometric precision.
As we will show, there is a strong science case for extending the current Warm Mission to December 2020. Spitzer has already made major impacts in the fields of exoplanets (including microlensing events), characterizing near Earth objects, enhancing our knowledge of nearby stars and brown dwarfs, understanding the properties and structure of our Milky Way galaxy, and deep wide-field extragalactic surveys to study galaxy birth and evolution.

By extending Spitzer through 2020, it can continue to make ground-breaking discoveries in those fields, and provide crucial support to the NASA flagship missions JWST and WFIRST, as well as the upcoming TESS mission, and it will complement ground-based observations by LSST and the new large telescopes of the next decade. This scientific program addresses NASA’s Science Mission Directive’s objectives in astrophysics, which include discovering how the universe works, exploring how it began and evolved, and searching for life on planets around other stars.

Jennifer C. Yee, Giovanni G. Fazio, Robert Benjamin, J. Davy Kirkpatrick, Matt A. Malkan, David Trilling, Sean Carey, David R. Ciardi, Daniel Apai, M. L. N. Ashby, Sarah Ballard, Jacob L. Bean, Thomas Beatty, Zach Berta-Thompson, P. Capak, David Charbonneau, Steven Chesley, Nicolas B. Cowan, Ian Crossfield, Michael C. Cushing, Julien de Wit, Drake Deming, M. Dickinson, Jason Dittmann, Diana Dragomir, Courtney Dressing, Joshua Emery, Jacqueline K. Faherty, Jonathan Gagne, B. Scott Gaudi, Michael Gillon, Carl J. Grillmair, Alan Harris, Joseph Hora, James G. Ingalls, Tiffany Kataria, Laura Kreidberg, Jessica E. Krick, Patrick J. Lowrance, William A. Mahoney, Stanimir A. Metchev, Michael Mommert, Michael Migo Mueller, Yossi Shvartzvald, Howard Smith, Kevin B. Stevenson, H. I. Teplitz, S. P. Willner
(Submitted on 11 Oct 2017)

Comments: 75 pages. See page 3 for Table of Contents and page 4 for Executive Summary
Subjects: Earth and Planetary Astrophysics (astro-ph.EP); Astrophysics of Galaxies (astro-ph.GA); Solar and Stellar Astrophysics (astro-ph.SR)
Cite as: arXiv:1710.04194 [astro-ph.EP] (or arXiv:1710.04194v1 [astro-ph.EP] for this version)
Submission history
From: Jennifer Yee
[v1] Wed, 11 Oct 2017 17:40:18 GMT (9366kb)

SpaceRef co-founder, Explorers Club Fellow, ex-NASA, Away Teams, Journalist, Space & Astrobiology, Lapsed climber.