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LUCID. Interstellar Boundary Explorer. Results from IBEX have repeatedly shocked the scientific community and overturned old theories.[4] The first shock came when it revealed a narrow ribbon of energetic neutral atom (ENA) emission.[4] Then it showed shifts over time in this band.[4] Another surprise came when no bow shock was found.[5] The repercussions of overturning the bow shock theory are huge, because decades of research are based on that concept.[4] The design and operation of the mission is being led by the Southwest Research Institute, with the Los Alamos National Laboratory and the Lockheed Martin Advanced Technology Center serving as co-investigator institutions responsible for the IBEX-Hi and IBEX-Lo sensors respectively.

Interstellar Boundary Explorer

The Orbital Sciences Corporation manufactured the spacecraft bus and was the location for spacecraft environmental testing. The nominal mission baseline duration was two years to observe the entire Solar System boundary. Payload[edit] Mission parameters[edit] Solar and Heliospheric Observatory. The Solar and Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO) is a spacecraft built by a European industrial consortium led by Matra Marconi Space (now Astrium) that was launched on a Lockheed Martin Atlas II AS launch vehicle on December 2, 1995 to study the Sun, and has discovered over 3000 comets.

Solar and Heliospheric Observatory

It began normal operations in May 1996. It is a joint project of international cooperation between the European Space Agency (ESA) and NASA. Originally planned as a two-year mission, SOHO continues to operate after over 20 years in space. In June 2013, a mission extension lasting until December 2016 was approved.[2] Orbit[edit] Although sometimes described as being at L1, the SOHO spacecraft is not exactly at L1 as this would make communication difficult due to radio interference generated by the Sun, and because this would not be a stable orbit. Communication with Earth[edit]

Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope. The Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope (FGST[2]), formerly called the Gamma-ray Large Area Space Telescope (GLAST), is a space observatory being used to perform gamma-ray astronomy observations from low Earth orbit.

Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope

Its main instrument is the Large Area Telescope (LAT), with which astronomers mostly intend to perform an all-sky survey studying astrophysical and cosmological phenomena such as active galactic nuclei, pulsars, other high-energy sources and dark matter. Another instrument aboard Fermi, the Gamma-ray Burst Monitor (GBM; formerly GLAST Burst Monitor), is being used to study gamma-ray bursts.[3] Fermi was launched on 11 June 2008 at 16:05 UTC aboard a Delta II 7920-H rocket.

High Energy Astronomy Observatory 1. The HEAO 1 Satellite, the first NASA High Energy Astronomy Observatory.

High Energy Astronomy Observatory 1

The solar photoelectric arrays are to the left, normally pointed towards the Sun, while the rectangular modules on the right are six of the seven proportional counters of the A1 experiment. HEAO included four large X-ray and gamma-ray astronomy instruments, known as A1, A2, A3, and A4, respectively (before launch, HEAO 1 was known as HEAO A). The orbital inclination was about 22.7 degrees. Einstein Observatory. High Energy Astronomy Observatory 3. Diagram of HEAO 3 Satellite The last of NASA's three High Energy Astronomy Observatories, HEAO 3 was launched 20 September 1979 on an Atlas-Centaur launch vehicle, into a nearly circular, 43.6 degree inclination low-Earth orbit with an initial perigee of 486.4 km.

High Energy Astronomy Observatory 3

The normal operating mode was a continuous celestial scan, spinning approximately once every 20 min about the spacecraft z-axis, which was nominally pointed at the Sun. Total mass of the observatory at launch was 2,660.0 kilograms (5,864.3 lb).[1] HEAO 3 included three scientific instruments: the first a cryogenic high-resolution germanium gamma-ray spectrometer, and two devoted to cosmic-ray observations. Cassini–Huygens. Cassini is an unpiloted spacecraft sent to the planet Saturn.


It is a Flagship-class NASA–ESA–ASI robotic spacecraft.[4] Cassini is the fourth space probe to visit Saturn and the first to enter orbit, and its mission is ongoing as of April 2017[update]. It has studied the planet and its many natural satellites since arriving there in 2004.[5] Cassini continued to study the Saturn system in the following years, and continues to operate as of April 2017. However, since November 30, 2016, due to the spacecraft's dwindling fuel resources for further orbital corrections, Cassini entered the final phase of the project. Cassini will dive through the outer ring of Saturn 22 times, once every seven days. Cassini is currently planned to be destroyed by diving into the planet's atmosphere on September 15, 2017, when it will beam its last batch of images.[7] This method of disposal was chosen to avoid potential biological contamination of Saturn's moons. Overview[edit] Voyager 2. Voyager 2 is a space probe launched by NASA on August 20, 1977 to study the outer planets.

Voyager 2

Part of the Voyager program, it was launched 16 days before its twin, Voyager 1, on a trajectory that took longer to reach Jupiter and Saturn but enabled further encounters with Uranus and Neptune.[4] It is the only spacecraft to have ever visited either of the ice giants. Voyager 1. Voyager 1 is a space probe launched by NASA on September 5, 1977.

Voyager 1

Part of the Voyager program to study the outer Solar System, Voyager 1 launched 16 days after its twin, Voyager 2. Having operated for 38 years, 5 months and 10 days, the spacecraft still communicates with the Deep Space Network to receive routine commands and return data. At a distance of 134 AU (2.00×1010 km) as of winter 2016, it is the farthest spacecraft from Earth and the only one in interstellar space. Advanced Composition Explorer. ACE in orbit around the Sun–Earth L1 point Advanced Composition Explorer (ACE) is a NASA Explorers program Solar and space exploration mission to study matter comprising energetic particles from the solar wind, the interplanetary medium, and other sources.

Advanced Composition Explorer

Real-time data from ACE is used by the NOAA Space Weather Prediction Center to improve forecasts and warnings of solar storms.[1] The ACE robotic spacecraft was launched August 25, 1997 and entered a Lissajous orbit close to the L1 Lagrangian point (which lies between the Sun and the Earth at a distance of some 1.5 million km from the latter) on December 12, 1997.[2] The spacecraft is currently operating at that orbit. Because ACE is in a non-Keplerian orbit, and has regular station-keeping maneuvers, the orbital parameters at right are only approximate. Science Objectives[edit] ACE observations allow the investigation of a wide range of fundamental problems in the following four major areas:[5] Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer. The Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer, also designated AMS-02, is a particle physics experiment module that is mounted on the International Space Station (ISS).

Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer

It is designed to measure antimatter in cosmic rays and search for evidence of dark matter. This information is needed to understand the formation of the Universe. The principal investigator is Nobel laureate particle physicist Samuel Ting. The launch of Space Shuttle Endeavour flight STS-134 carrying AMS-02 took place on 16 May 2011, and the spectrometer was installed on 19 May 2011.[4][5] By April 15, 2015, AMS-02 had recorded over 60 billion cosmic ray events since its installation.[6] In March 2013, at a seminar at CERN, Professor Samuel Ting reported that AMS had observed over 400,000 positrons, with the positron to electron fraction increasing from 10 GeV to 250 GeV.

History[edit] PAMELA detector. PAMELA (Payload for Antimatter Matter Exploration and Light-nuclei Astrophysics) is an operational cosmic ray research module attached to an Earth orbiting satellite. PAMELA was launched on 15 June 2006 and is the first satellite-based experiment dedicated to the detection of cosmic rays, with a particular focus on their antimatter component, in the form of positrons and antiprotons. Other objectives include long-term monitoring of the solar modulation of cosmic rays, measurements of energetic particles from the Sun, high-energy particles in Earth's magnetosphere and Jovian electrons. It is also hoped that it may detect evidence of dark matter annihilation.[1]