NASA.gov brings you the latest images, videos and news from America's space agency. Spitzer is designed to detect infrared radiation, which is primarily heat radiation. Spitzer Space Telescope Workers at the Kennedy Space Center at Cape Canaveral, Florida, inspecting the Spitzer Space Telescope on May 2, 2003. It was named in honour of Lyman Spitzer, Jr., an American astrophysicist who in a seminal 1946 paper foresaw the power of astronomical telescopes operating in space. The Spitzer Space Telescope is the final mission in NASA's Great Observatories Program - a family of four space-based observatories, each observing the universe in a different kind of light. Spitzer created the first “map” of an exoplanet. Get the latest updates on NASA missions, watch NASA TV live, and learn about our quest to reveal the unknown and benefit all humankind. The Spitzer Space Telescope (formerly the Space Infrared Telescope Facility or SIRTF) was the fourth and last of NASA’s “Great Observatories,” after the Hubble Space Telescope (launched in 1990), the Compton Gamma Ray Observatory (1991), and the Chandra X-Ray Observatory (1999). In May 2007, Spitzer captured detailed enough infrared measurements of the gas giant HD 189733b (64.5 …