NASA’S SPITZER TELESCOPE WARMS UP TO NEW CAREER WASHINGTON — The primary mission of NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope is about to end after more than five and a half years of probing the cosmos with its keen infrared eye. Within about a week of May 12, the telescope is expected to run out of the […]
NASA’S SPITZER TELESCOPE WARMS UP TO NEW CAREER
WASHINGTON — The primary mission of NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope is about to end after more than five and a half years of probing the cosmos with its keen infrared eye. Within about a week of May 12, the telescope is expected to run out of the liquid helium needed to chill some of its instruments to operating temperatures.
The end of the coolant will begin a new era for Spitzer. The telescope will start its “warm” mission with two channels of one instrument still working at full capacity. Some of the science explored by a warm Spitzer will be the same, and some will be entirely new.
“We like to think of Spitzer as being reborn,” said Robert Wilson, Spitzer project manager at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif. “Spitzer led an amazing life, performing above and beyond its call of duty. Its primary mission might be over, but it will tackle new scientific pursuits, and more breakthroughs are sure to come.”
Spitzer is the last of NASA’s Great Observatories, a suite of telescopes designed to see the visible and invisible colors of the universe. The suite also includes NASA’s Hubble and Chandra space telescopes. Spitzer has explored, with unprecedented sensitivity, the infrared side of the cosmos, where dark, dusty and distant objects hide.
For a telescope to detect infrared light — essentially heat — from cool cosmic objects, it must have very little heat of its own. During the past five years, liquid helium has run through Spitzer’s “veins,”
keeping its three instruments chilled to -456 degrees Fahrenheit
(-271 Celsius), or less than 3 degrees above absolute zero, the coldest temperature theoretically attainable. The cryogen was projected to last as little as two and a half years, but Spitzer’s efficient design and careful operations enabled it to last more than five and a half years.
Spitzer’s new “warm” temperature is still quite chilly at -404 degrees Fahrenheit (-242 Celsius), much colder than a winter day in Antarctica when temperatures sometimes reach -75 degrees Fahrenheit
(-59 Celsius). This temperature rise means two of Spitzer’s instruments — its longer wavelength multiband imaging photometer and its infrared spectrograph — will no longer be cold enough to detect cool objects in space.
You can learn more about Space Mission Design and Analysis at ATI Space Mission Design and Analysis
Carolyn and Jim Jenkins attended a two-day seminar Effective Seminar/Conference Marketing (ESCM) in January 2009. The seminar is sponsored by Clemson University and was worth while. We came away with a long list of ideas for improving ATIcourses seminar marketing. We have implemented some already. Some are discussed below. I am eager to exchange ideas […]
Carolyn and Jim Jenkins attended a two-day seminar Effective Seminar/Conference Marketing (ESCM) in January 2009. The seminar is sponsored by Clemson University and was worth while. We came away with a long list of ideas for improving ATIcourses seminar marketing. We have implemented some already. Some are discussed below. I am eager to exchange ideas and tips with both my instructors and other seminar marketers.
This was originally written for ATIcourses instructors, but contains some of the ideas from the seminar.Some ideas from the seminar that ATIcourses has implemented include:
A blog (or weblog) is a website, usually maintained by an individual or company with regular entries of commentary, descriptions of events, or other material such as graphics or video. Entries are commonly displayed in reverse-chronological order. A blog is an easy way to allow you as an instructor to post things about your course that might draw interest from prospective students. The ESCM states that search engines like blogs and give their links a high ranking. Thus posting news related to your course topic helps improve the ATIcourses web site ranking relative to your key words. I have set up Google alerts for some key words and post short news pieces related to underwater sound, radar, and satellites. I welcome any posts related to your course subject area or your course. This is an easy chance to generate web coverage. The blog already receives a lot of page views.
ExpertClick (http://www.expertclick.com/) publishes a Yearbook of Experts, Authorities and Spokespersons that is used for those in the media seeking swift contact with experts for interview. It also has www.NewsReleaseWire.com that posts news releases that show up in Google News and Yahoo News. Again ESCM states that these news releases are helpful in maintaining a good search engine ranking. This service was discovered by Mark, a new ATI instructor on Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS). Mark and ATI are sharing a listing that costs about $1000 a year that will allow each of us to post 26 media releases per year, starting in February. Mark has already had a telephone interview from Aviation Week about UAS and their communications requirements. Some of you who are consultants may find the service of value. Lisa just reported to me that this last week she received three registrations for an acoustics course that the student learned about through a “goof-ball Navy newspaper” that picked up the press release. WOW. I am impressed.
Google Analytics (GA) tracks visitors to ATI’s web site. For example, in the last 30 days www.ATIcourses.com had 14,526 visitors, 12,303 unique visitors. GA tracks the top landing pages and the top search terms. I do not completely understand all the information or how to best use it to optimize our web site. ATI has many tutorial pages written by our instructors. http://www.aticourses.com/ati_tutorials.htm One thing is clear. These pages draw web traffic. These are common top landing pages and are referenced by other web sites, some are referenced by Wikipedia.
Course Overview Sampler One of the techniques that ATI has used in the past is a short sample of the course notes to attract the prospective students to a course. Typically the sampler is 25 to no more than 50 pages of the actual course notes. The idea is to provide enough of a sample of the course materials to attract people interested in the area and the search engines, but not give away so much that people will do not need to attend. The search engines also index these pages. Several of our previous samplers rank high in search engines and attract hundreds of new viewers each month.
The final product is a locked PDF, so people cannot easily edit or change the document. They must keep the water marked promo information if they print the information. The final product will also include a watermark that shows behind the text that this is copyrighted material and cannot be reproduced without permission.
If you think this is a good idea, please select 20-50 of your slides (best as you know your materials). We can and will add the watermark for printed materials. See other examples at
We already have over 40 sampler pages posted originally in 2004-2005 and I want to expand and use these as additional marketing tools in 2009. Engineers and scientists love to look at technical information that is a sample of what they will receive in the course. We will reference the course overview samples (when available) in our press releases and email broadcasts.
You can send us Power Point files and ATI can convert it into locked, watermarked PDF files.
ATI is using Vertical Response as an email service provider for tracking the open and click rates of our opt-in email lists. ATI currently has about 2600 opt-in email addresses, including about 1000 training personal or people who have asked for a quote in the last few years. We are actively trying to grow our opt-in list. Text is provided below with a link that you can forward to your contacts so that they can receive our e-news course announcements. This is the wave of the future permission based marketing, but it is hard to get people to double opt-in as they get so much email. Our opt in names are opening 20-35 % of the emails ATI sends and clicking on both the course description and course sampler links.