US launches space-mapping satellite WISE
Washington: NASA on Monday launched its
Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE) satellite on a
mission to orbit Earth and scan the sky in infrared light to
photograph the glow of hundreds of millions of objects.
The launch, which had been delayed from Friday after
problems were discovered in a rocket booster steering engine,
went ahead on schedule and flawlessly at 6:09 am (1409 GMT)
from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California.
WISE will orbit 300 miles (500 kilometres) above Earth's
surface for six months.
It will survey the sky at infrared wavelengths,
cataloguing hundreds of millions of objects as it gathers and
sends back to Earth information about the solar system, the
Milky Way and the universe.
By the end of its mission, WISE will have taken nearly
1,500,000 pictures covering the entire sky, NASA said.