The Space InfraRed Telescope Facility (SIRTF) is the fourth and final element in NASA's family of "Great Observatories". SIRTF consists of a 0.85-meter telescope and three cryogenically-cooled science instruments capable of performing imaging and spectroscopy in the 3.5 - 180 micron wavelength range. Incorporating the latest in large-format infrared detector arrays, SIRTF offers orders-of-magnitude improvements in capability over existing programs. While SIRTF's mission lifetime requirement remains 2.5 years, recent programmatic and engineering developments have brought a 5-year cryogenic mission within reach. A fast-track development schedule will lead to a launch in December 2001. SIRTF represents an important scientific and technical bridge to NASA's new Origins program.
In May 1998, the SIRTF Science Support Center selected SPIKE as the long range planning tool for SIRTF. Work is currently underway to modify Spike's HST Plan Window Scheduler for use by SIRTF. Although the planning problem for SIRTF is much less constrained than for HST (due to SIRTF's earth-trailing orbit), it presents some unique challenges of its own. Perphaps the most interesting problem is figuring out how to schedule plan windows concurrently with laying out an Instrument Campaign Schedule. SIRTF's three instruments may not be operated in parallel, and it is desired to run each instrument for an extended period of time before handing off to the next one.