NASA’s Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE) has returned its first photograph – a calibration shot of “about 3,000 stars in the Carina constellation.” While the star-filled image was impressive, we couldn’t help but think their explorer sure looks a lot like an encased astromech.
NASA has described the cryostat as resembling “a giant Thermos bottle” or “the Star Wars robot R2-D2″, and being “about the height and weight of a big polar bear, only wider”. The agency’s big polar bear in this case is 2.85 metres tall, 2 metres wide, 1.73 metres deep and weighs 661kg.
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NASA infrared survey returns first snap