The Infrared Astronomical Satellite, or IRAS, was launched in 1983 by an international science consortium that included the United States, Britain, and the Netherlands. The main telescope on IRAS was a twenty-three-inch (fifty-eight-centimeter) reflector telescope. The infrared light collected by this telescope was measured and recorded by sixty-four semiconductor panels, and sent down to Earth by radio signals. To keep the scientific instruments cool, they were surrounded by a large insulated flask of liquid helium. The IRAS instruments operated until the liquid helium, which lasted about seven months, boiled away into space.