By Mike Wall
NASA has turned off a decade-old space telescope, a year after loaning the orbiting instrument to a university that operated it with private funding.
The space agency decommissioned its Galaxy Evolution Explorer spacecraft, or GALEX, on Friday afternoon (June 28), NASA officials said. During its 10-year career, GALEX peered at hundreds of millions of galaxies, helping researchers better understand how these huge collections of stars grow and evolve.
"GALEX is a remarkable accomplishment," Jeff Hayes, NASA's GALEX program executive in Washington, D.C., said in a statement. "This small Explorer mission has mapped and studied galaxies in the ultraviolet, light we cannot see with our own eyes, across most of the sky."
The $150 million GALEX satellite launched in April 2003 on a 29-month mission to study the history of star formation in the universe.
NASA extended GALEX but eventually stopped funding it in February 2011. . . .
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