That mission is now set to start on 8 November. Rising into the Kourou sky, launched by Ariane, will be a satellite keenly awaited by astronomers wound the world: ISO, the first real infrared space observatory, built and launched under the responsibility of ESA. its task will be long-duration observation of celestial radiation sources, studying them with unparalleled sensitivity and precision. It will view them in the invisible and cool light of infrared radiation, as yet very largely unexplored. ISO will provide an entirely fresh perspective on the universe. This should provide a major and significant boost to scientists working in many areas of astrophysics, from nearby planets to the most distant quasars, taking in star formation, the dark matter of the universe and superluminous galaxies.