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Cosmic Origins Projects

Current Missions

Hubble Space Telescope

Since 1990, the Hubble Space Telescope has orbited just above Earth’s atmosphere to get a clear view deep into the universe. Hubble remains one of NASA’s most successful and long-lasting missions, and continues to shed light on astronomy’s greatest mysteries.

Widefield Infrared Survey Explorer

The NEOWISE mission searches for asteroids and comets using a space telescope. Launched in 2009 as the Wide-Field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE), the space telescope was originally designed to survey the sky in infrared. After completing its original mission in 2011, it was brought back online and repurposed for the NEOWISE project in 2013.

Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA)

As a Boeing 747-SP aircraft modified to accommodate a 2.5 meter gyro-stabilized telescope, SOFIA is the largest airborne observatory in the world.

Related Current Missions

Chandra X-ray Observatory

As the world’s most powerful X-ray telescope, Chandra has eight-times greater resolution and can detect sources over 20-times fainter than previous X-ray telescopes. The Chandra X-Ray Telescope launched into orbit in 1999.

Fermi Gamma Ray Space Telescope

Launched in 2008, the Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope observes the universe using the highest-energy form of light. Fermi serves as a window to extreme phenomena in our universe, like gamma-ray bursts, black-hole jets, and supernova remnants.

The Neil Gehrels Swift Observatory

Since 2004, the Swift Observatory has investigated gamma-ray bursts. Swift relays the locations of these bursts to ground stations, which allows ground-based and space-based telescopes to observe the afterglow.

Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS)

TESS is an all-sky survey mission launched in 2018 that is dedicated to discovering exoplanets around nearby bright stars.


This satellite is a European Space Agency mission that studies the universe with different kinds of light. To date, XMM-Newton has studied over half a million X-ray sources.

Webb Ships to Launch Site
in August

James Webb Space Telescope

On Schedule to Launch

COR News and Upcoming Events

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Program News and Announcements

Continuing call for nominations to the Cosmic Origins Program Analysis Group (COPAG) Executive Committee. »  Details.
30 May 2021
Second QUEST Meeting and Presentation to be held 03 June 2021. »  Details.
17 May 2021
Update on Technology Gap Prioritization »  Details.
17 May 2021
25 May 2021: Infrared Science Interest Group (IR SIG) Webinar »  Details.
17 May 2021
ROSES Astrophysics Theory Program Information Session on 24 May 2021 »  Details.
12 May 2021
Special Online Event, 13 May 2021: Quorum for Ultraviolet Exploration of Science and Technology (QUEST). »  Meeting Details and Invite.

Project News


NASA logo
  • NASA Official: Phil Newman
  • Web Curator: Pat Tyler
Goddard Space Flight Center