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Artist's concept of the Spitzer Space Telescope. Photo: NASA/JPL-Caltech-ESA/Hubble/Digitized Sky Survey 2

The long-running Spitzer Space Telescope is nearing the end of its mission, NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory announced in a quietly posted blog entry on May 16. The spacecraft's last day of operations is set for Jan. 30, 2020.

Why it matters: Spitzer transformed our understanding of the universe. The telescope — which looks out at the universe in infrared light — has helped astronomers clock the expansion of the universe, map the Milky Way and discover black holes.

The telescope has been a workhorse for NASA, beaming home images and discoveries for 16 years.

Details: According to a tweet from Aviation Week & Space Technology editor Irene Klotz, NASA considered "private entities" to take over operations of the telescope, "but none could secure funding."

  • Scientists and members of the public are now posting remembrances of the telescope on Twitter and Facebook using the hashtag #spitzerfinalvoyage.
  • NASA is planning to launch its next infrared observatory, the James Webb Space Telescope, to orbit in 2021.

But, but, but: While the spacecraft's mission is ending, the science from it will not. Scientists will still be able to analyze and reanalyze the data Spitzer beamed to Earth during its long life in space.

What they're saying: "The people who operate the observatory are a family and we are surrounded by our cousins, the science community who have so creatively driven the science of the mission," Lisa Storrie-Lombardi, Spitzer project manager, wrote in the blog post announcing the end of the mission. "When I started on this path I could not have imagined how rewarding this journey would be."

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Michigan board certifies Biden's win

Poll workers count absentee ballots in Detroit, Michigan on Nov. 4. Photo: Salwan Georges/The Washington Post via Getty Images

The Michigan Board of State Canvassers certified the state's election results on Monday, making President-elect Joe Biden's win there official and granting him the state's 16 electoral votes.

Why it matters: Republican Party leaders had unsuccessfully appealed to delay the official certification, amid the Trump campaign's failed legal challenges in key swing states.

Biden to nominate Janet Yellen as Treasury secretary

Photo: Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images

President-elect Joe Biden is preparing to nominate former Fed Chair Janet Yellen as his Treasury Secretary, four people familiar with the matter tell Axios.

Why it matters: Yellen, 74, will bring instant economic celebrity to Biden’s team and, if confirmed, she will not only be the first female Treasury Secretary but also the first person to have held all three economic power positions in the federal government: the chair of Council of Economic Advisers, the chair of Federal Reserve and the Treasury Secretary.

3 hours ago - Podcasts

Bob Nelsen on AstraZeneca and his plan to revolutionize biotech

AstraZeneca and the University of Oxford on Monday reported promising efficacy data for their COVID-19 vaccine, which has less stringent storage requirements than the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines and may be distributed earlier in developing countries.

Axios Re:Cap digs into the state of vaccine and therapeutics manufacturing with Bob Nelsen, a successful biotech investor who on Monday launched Resilience, a giant new pharma production platform that he believes will prepare America for its next major health challenges.