Ulysses

Ulysses Spacecraft Ulysses Spacecraft

An artist's concept of the Ulysses spacecraft exploring the sun. Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

Mission Summary

The Ulysses spacecraft was designed as a five-year mission to study the never-before-examined north and south poles of the Sun. Far outliving its planned mission lifetime by 13 years and collecting treasure troves of data on solar wind, interstellar dust and the three-dimensional character of solar radiation, Ulysses became one of the most prolific contributors to knowledge of the solar activity cycle.

The spacecraft also performed a number of technical feats including making an unprecedented gravity assist maneuver at Jupiter to hurl itself out of the elliptic plane and into its solar polar orbit.

Scientific Instrument(s)

- Solar Wind Ion Composition Spectrometer (GLG/SWICS)
- Solar wind ion analyzer
- Electrostatic analyzer
- Cosmic dust detector


Type: Orbiter
 
Status: Past
 
Launch Date: October 06, 1990
7:47 a.m. EDT (11:47 UTC)
 
Launch Location: Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida
 
Mission End Date: June 30, 2009
 
Target: Sun
 
Destination: Sun
 
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