COBE (Cosmic Background Explorer)

COBE is illustrated in light and dark blues. With two wings made up of three rectangular solar arrays each, the spacecraft's main body is made up of a striped, multi-sided cylinder with an attached cone-shaped structure on top.
December 20, 2022
Historical DateDecember 20, 2022
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An illustration of NASA's COBE spacecraft. The colors depicted in this illustration are for artistic purposes only.

COBE was a mission that measured and mapped the cosmic microwave background radiation (CMB) left over from the big bang, which is the oldest light in the universe. The mission provided key evidence for the expanding universe theory, also known as the big bang theory, as an explanation for the origins of the universe and refined our understanding of the event and CMB.

Launched: November 18, 1989
Decommissioned: December 23, 1993