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The Wilkinson Microwave Anisotropy Probe (WMAP) was launched on June 30, 2001, at 3:46 p.m. EDT at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida, USA.

The goal of WMAP was to map out minute differences in the Cosmic Microwave Background (CMB) radiation which would help test theories of the nature of the universe.

On February 11, 2003, the public relations group from NASA made a press release regarding the age and composition of the universe. This release included the most intricate "baby picture" of the Universe taken so far, while waiting for the launch and results of the Planck Surveyor satellite. According to NASA, this picture "contains such stunning detail that it may be one of the most important scientific results of recent years".

Important inferences from the initial analyses of the WMAP data

External references