Ball Aerospace and Technologies Corp. plans to reactivate its survey aircraft in September for NASA’s near-Earth object exploration mission.
The refreshed Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer spacecraft will work to detect and identify near-Earth objects such as asteroids, Ball Aerospace said Wednesday.
Jim Oschmann, vice president and general manager for Ball’s Civil Space and Technology business unit, said the aircraft is intended to help further NASA’s space research and discoveries.
“You expect a satellite to complete its initial mission, and then when it remains healthy it makes sense to further utilize the spacecraft for additional research and discovery,” he added.
The WISE spacecraft launched in 2009 and captured more than 2.7 million images during its first 10 months of operation, Ball Aerospace says.
Further WISE operations also discovered previously unidentified objects, including 21 comets, over 34,000 asteroids in the Mars-Jupiter belt and 135 other near-Earth objects.