Infrared Space Observatory

The European Space Agency's (ESA) Infrared Space Observatory (ISO) is an astronomical satellite that was operational between November 1995 and May 1998. It operated at wavelengths from 2.5 to 240 microns, in the infrared range of the electromagnetic spectrum.
The satellite essentially consists of: a large liquid-helium cryostat; a telescope with a 60-cm diameter primary mirror; four scientific instruments and the service module.
ISO was successfully launched by an Ariane 44P launcher from Europe's spaceport in Kourou, on 17 November 1995. Initially it was supposed to be operational for 20 months, but thanks to meticulous engineering and some good fortune the satellite's working life was stretched to more than 28 months: ISO unveiled the infrared universe until May 1998.


Launch (Ariane 44P)

November 17, 1995
End of Mission May 16,1998

switched off; in orbit

MPE Participation:

  • Short Wavelength Spectrometer (SWS)
  • ISO Spektrometer Datenzentrum
  • ISO Spektralanalyse-Paket (ISAP)
  • ISO-SWS Standard Software Pakete
  • ISO Post Mission Archive

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