"NEOWISE not only gives us a better understanding of the asteroids and comets we study directly, but it will help us refine our concepts and mission operation plans for future, space-based near-Earth object cataloging missions," said Amy Mainzer, principal investigator for NEOWISE at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif.
"The spacecraft is in excellent health, and the new images look just as good as they were before hibernation. Over the next weeks and months we will be gearing up our ground-based data processing and expect to get back into the asteroid hunting business, and acquire our first previously undiscovered space rock, in the next few months."
NEOWISE was powered up in September and today, the first test infrared observations of known asteroids have been released.
ANALYSIS: WISE Embarks on ‘Crazy' Blazar Hunt
Pictured top, the dotted line shows the trajectory of the 26 mile-wide main belt asteroid 872 Holda as it passed through the constellation Pisces (the thin streak is a man made satellite passing through the NEOWISE field of view). This is one of the first images retrieved from the new NEOWISE campaign and it appears to be functioning just fine.