Tag Archives: GALEX

After ten years of operation, NASA has turned off its Galaxy Evolution Explorer (GALEX) space telescope.

After ten years of operation, NASA has turned off its Galaxy Evolution Explorer (GALEX) space telescope.

In a first-of-a-kind move for NASA, the agency in May 2012 loaned GALEX to the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, which used private funds to continue operating the satellite while NASA retained ownership. Since then, investigators from around the world have used GALEX to study everything from stars in our own Milky Way galaxy to hundreds of thousands of galaxies 5 billion light-years away.

It appears this loan arrangement has now ended because of a lack of funds. Either way, it always baffles me when NASA shuts down a working science telescope merely because it has been operating for a long time. Eventually the space agency will call for a replacement, the building of which will be far more expensive than it would have been to keep the original in operation.