News & AnalysisAstronomy

Creative Deal Gives NASA Telescope New Lease on Life

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Science  01 Jun 2012:
Vol. 336, Issue 6085, pp. 1087
DOI: 10.1126/science.336.6085.1087

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Last fall, NASA officials prepared to turn off the Galaxy Evolution Explorer (GALEX), which had spent 8 years in orbit surveying the sky at ultraviolet wavelengths. But the principal investigator on the project had other ideas. Now the telescope has a fresh lease on life, thanks to a first-of-a-kind arrangement between the federal government and a research university. NASA has loaned the satellite to Caltech under a rarely used legal provision that allows the institution to operate the instrument as its own without assuming any liability for it.