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M.W. Werner (JPL, Caltech)
SIRTF - the Space Infrared Telescope Facility - is both the infrared member of NASA's family of Great Observatories and a scientific and technical cornerstone of NASA's Origins initiative. SIRTF will match the intrinsic sensitivity of a cryogenic telescope in space with the great imaging and spectroscopic power of the new generation of infrared detector arrays. SIRTF is on schedule for launch in December, 2001 with a currently estimated cryogenic lifetime in excess of 5 yr.
The principal scientific characteristics of SIRTF are: 1)An 85 cm telescope diffraction limited at 6.5um and longward; 2) Two imaging instruments which provide 5x5 arcmin fields of view in six bands between 3.6 and 70um, and a smaller field of view at 160um; 3) Five spectroscopic modules which permit R~100 spectroscopy between 5 and 40um, R~600 spectroscopy between 10 and 40um, and R~15 spectrophotometry between 50 and 95um. SIRTF will be natural background-limited and will reach flux levels between two and four orders of magnitude fainter than the limiting fluxes in the IRAS Faint Souce Catalog.
Over 75 be available to the general scientific community via the usual peer review processes. The first proposal opportunity will come with the release of the Call for Proposals for SIRTF's Legacy Program in July, 2000.
The astronomical community is encouraged to visit the SIRTF home page at: http://sirtf.caltech.edu/ for more information about SIRTF and the scientific opportunities it brings.
This work was carried out at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, under an agreement with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration
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