New Delhi: NASA's youngest member of the "Great Observatory" programme - the Spitzer Space Telescope - has completed 15 years in space.
The Great Observatories comprises of four big-ticket space telescopes -- Spitzer, Hubble Space Telescope, the Compton Gamma Ray Observatory (CGRO), and the Chandra X-ray Observatory.
These are designed to view the universe in different and complementary wavelengths of light. The Spitzer Space Telescope was launched into solar orbit on August 25, 2003.
Initially, it was scheduled for a minimum 2.5-year primary mission, but it lasted far beyond its expected lifetime, the US space agency said in a statement.
"In its 15 years of operations, Spitzer has opened our eyes to new ways of viewing the universe," said Paul Hertz, director of the Astrophysics Division at NASA Headquarters in Washington.
"Spitzer's discoveries extend from our own planetary backyard, to planets around other stars, to the far reaches of the universe. And by working in collaboration with NASA's other Great Observatories, Spitzer has helped scientists gain a more complete picture of many cosmic phenomena," he added.
Celebrating Spitzer's incredible discoveries and amazing images, NASA has also released two new multimedia products: The NASA Selfies app for iOS and Android, and the Exoplanet Excursions VR Experience for Oculus and Vive, as well as a 360-video version for smartphones, the statement said.
In the past 15 years, Spitzer has logged over 106,000 hours of observation time.