Goals: The Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE) is currently studying the entire sky in the mid-infrared with far greater sensitivity than previous missions. The survey will help search for the origins of planets, stars and galaxies and create an infrared atlas whose legacy will endure for decades.
Accomplishments: WISE scanned the entire celestial sky in infrared light about 1.5 times. It captured more than 2.7 million images of objects in space, ranging from faraway galaxies to asteroids and comets close to Earth. After completing its prime science mission, the spacecraft ran out of the frozen coolant that keeps its instrumentation cold. However, two of its four infrared cameras remained operational. These two channels were still useful for asteroid hunting, so NASA extended the NEOWISE portion of the WISE mission by four months, with the primary purpose of hunting for more asteroids and comets, and to finish one complete scan of the main asteroid belt.
The spacecraft is in hibernation in case another science opportunity arises.