Infobox Space telescope
name = Galaxy Evolution Explorer (GALEX)

caption = Artist's impression of GALEX
organization = NASA / JPL / Caltech
major_contractors = Orbital Sciences Corp.
alt_names =
nssdc_id =
location = Low Earth orbit
orbit_type = Near-circular
height = 697 [Kilometre|km] (432 miles)
period =
velocity =
accel_gravity =
launch_date = April 28, 2003
launch_location = Cape Canaveral
launch_vehicle = nowrap|L-1011 TriStar / Pegasus XL
mission_length = 29 months
deorbit_date =
wavelength = 135 to 280 nm
mass = 280 kg (617 lb)
style = Richey-Chrétien
diameter = 0.5 m
area =
focal_length = 3 m
coolant =
instrument_1_name =
instrument_1_characteristics =
instrument_2_name =
instrument_2_characteristics =
instrument_3_name =
instrument_3_characteristics =
instrument_4_name =
instrument_4_characteristics =
website = []
stats_ref = cite web |title=NASA:Galaxy Evolution Explorer |work=Quick Facts |url= |accessdate=2007-04-22]
The Galaxy Evolution Explorer is an orbiting ultraviolet space telescope that was launched on April 28, 2003. A Pegasus rocket placed GALEX into a nearly circular orbit at an altitude of 697 km (432 miles) and an inclination to the Earth's equator of 29 degrees.

The first observation was dedicated to the crew of the Space Shuttle Columbia and images the sky in the constellation Hercules, taken on May 21, 2003. This region was selected because it had been directly overhead the shuttle at the time of its last contact with NASA Mission Control.

cience mission

During its nominal 29-months mission it makes observations at ultraviolet wavelengths to measure the history of star formation in the Universe 80 percent of the way back to the Big Bang. Since scientists believe the universe is about 13 billion years old, the mission will study galaxies and stars across about 10 billion years of cosmic history.

The spacecraft's mission is to observe hundreds of thousands of galaxies, with the goal of determining how far away each galaxy is from Earth and how fast stars are forming (star formation rate, or SFR) in each galaxy. Near- and Far-UV emissions as measured by GALEX can indicate the presence of young stars, but may also originate from old stellar populations (e.g. sdB stars).

Partnering with JPL on the mission are the California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, Calif.; Orbital Sciences Corporation, Germantown, Md.; University of California, Berkeley; Yonsei University, Seoul, Korea; Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Md.; and Laboratoire d'Astrophysique de Marseille, France.


Pegasus XL Rocket

GALEXPegasus XL being attiched to a L-1011 TriStar

Lockheed L-1011 TriStar.

ee also

* Pegasus rocket
* Space telescope


External links

* [ GALEX home page at CalTech]
* [ GALEX Mission Profile] by [ NASA's Solar System Exploration]
* [ GALEX Detects "Teenage" Galaxies]
* [ JPL GALEX description]
* [ GALEX Public Archive at MAST]

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