BEIJING, Aug.23 (Xinhuanet) -- WISE, known as the space-based telescope, has been orbiting our planet in a hibernative state for the past two and a half years and, now nap time over, is to do some asteroid hunting.
NASA announced it will reactivate the sleeping space telescope to work as an asteroid hunter, with focus on finding potentially hazardous asteroids and other space rocks that could come uncomfortably close to our planet.
NASA hopes the telescope still has enough juice to discover 150 previously unknown near-Earth objects, and to help scientists learn more about the shape and size of 2,000 others, the agency said in a statement.
WISE, the Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer, was launched in December 2009, tasked with scanning the night sky in infrared light -- looking for heat emanating from galaxies, stars and asteroids.
By the time its primary mission ended in February 2011, WISE had captured more than 2.7 million images in multiple wavelengths and cataloged more than 560 million objects in space, according to NASA.