The Galaxy Evolution Explorer spacecraft, or GALEX, was decommissioned by NASA last month. It had been launched into space aboard an air-launched Pegasus rocket, over the Atlantic Ocean off of Cape Canaveral Air Force Station 10 years ago.
The orbiting space telescope used its ultraviolet vision to study hundreds of millions of galaxies across 10 billion years of cosmic time.
Operators at Orbital Sciences Corporation in Dulles, Va., sent the signal to decommission GALEX on June 28. The mission was extended three times before being cancelled. The spacecraft will remain in orbit for at least 65 years, then fall to Earth and burn up upon re-entering the atmosphere.