NASA Firing Up Old Telescope to Search for Near-Earth Asteroids

Last used two years ago


The eyes of WISE are back in commission. After lying dormant for more than two years, NASA's Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer will emerge from hibernation in September to assist in the asteroid initiative laid out by President Obama. The space agency has dubbed the revival NEOWISE. 

Despite scuffles in Congress over where NASA would best direct its efforts—lassoing asteroids or more manned missions to the moon—the space agency is moving forward with its plans to identify potentially dangerous near-Earth objects (NEOs), as well as the more ambitious goal of capturing and relocating an asteroid. WISE's reactivation seems to be the first step in that process as this spacecraft resumes its mission of hunting for new space objects.