KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. - Before dawn, the Space Infrared Telescope Facility (SIRTF) arrives at Launch Pad 17-B, Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, where it will be lifted into the mobile service tower and prepared for launch. SIRTF consists of three cryogenically cooled science instruments and an 0.85-meter telescope, and is one of NASA’s largest infrared telescopes to be launched. It is the fourth and final element in NASA’s family of orbiting “Great Observatories.” SIRTF will obtain images and spectra by detecting the infrared energy, or heat, radiated by objects in space. Most of this infrared radiation is blocked by the Earth's atmosphere and cannot be observed from the ground.
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