The Infrared Astronomical Satellite (IRAS) was the first-ever space-based observatory to perform a survey of the entire sky at infrared wavelengths. Launched on January 25, 1983, its mission lasted ten months. The telescope was a joint project of the United States, the Netherlands, and the United Kingdom.
The Spitzer Space Telescope (formerly the Space Infrared Telescope Facility, SIRTF) is an infrared space observatory launched in 2003. It is the fourth and final of NASA's Great Observatories. The planned nominal mission period was to be 2.5 years with a pre-launch expectation that the mission could extend to five or slightly more years until the onboard liquid helium supply was exhausted. This occurred on 15 May 2009.
The Infrared Space Observatory (ISO) was a space telescope for infrared light designed and operated by the European Space Agency (ESA), in cooperation with ISAS (part of JAXA as of 2003) and NASA. The ISO was designed to study infrared light at wavelengths of 2.5 to 240 micrometres. The Euro 480.1 million ISO was launched on 17 november 1995 from the ELA-2 launch pad at the Guiana Space Centre near Kourou in French Guiana.
The Herschel Space Observatory is a space observatory from the European Space Agency (ESA). It was originally proposed in 1982 by a consortium of European scientists. The mission is named after Sir William Herschel, the discoverer of the infrared spectrum and planet Uranus. Herschel can see the coldest and dustiest objects in space; for example, cool cocoons where stars form and dusty galaxies just starting to bulk up with new stars.
AKARI (ASTRO-F) is an infrared astronomy satellite developed by Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency, in cooperation with institutes of Europe and Korea. It was launched on 21:28, 21 February 2006 UTC by M-V rocket into Earth sun-synchronous orbit. After its launch it was named AKARI (あかり), which means light in Japanese. Its primary mission is to survey the entire sky in near-, mid- and far-infrared, through its 68.5 cm aperture telescope.
The Midcourse Space Experiment (MSX) is a Ballistic Missile Defense Organization satellite experiment to map bright infrared sources in space. MSX offered the first system demonstration of technology in space to identify and track ballistic missiles during their midcourse flight phase.
Wide-Field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE) is a NASA-funded infrared-wavelength astronomical space telescope launched on 14 December 2009. The Earth-orbiting satellite carries a 40-centimetre (16 in) diameter infrared-sensitive telescope, which will survey the entire sky over the course of six months through images made in the 3 to 25 μm wavelength range.
This list of space telescopes is grouped by major frequency ranges: gamma ray, x-ray, ultraviolet, visible, infrared, microwave and radio. Telescopes that work in multiple frequency bands are included in all of the appropriate sections. Space telescopes that collect particles, such as cosmic ray nuclei and/or electrons, as well as instruments that aim to detect gravitational waves, are also listed.