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Ulysses

diagram of Ulysses components

Classification: Orbiter spacecraft.

Mission: Study the sun from solar polar latitudes.

Features: The Ulysses spacecraft is a joint project between NASA and the European Space Agency (ESA). It was launched in late 1990 via the Space Shuttle with an IUS upper stage and Payload Assist Module (PAM-S). It encountered Jupiter early in 1992 for a gravity assist to achieve a trajectory at nearly right angles to the ecliptic plane. It will undertake exploration of the Sun's high southern latitudes June through October 1994. It will make a pass over the Sun's north polar region between June and September 1996. At no time will it approach less than 1 AU from the sun. While within Jupiter's environs for its gravity assist, it made significant observations of the Jovian system. Ulysses carries fields and particles instruments. Its U.S. counterpart, a second spacecraft with imaging instruments, designed to travel simultaneously over the opposite Solar poles, was cancelled by the U.S.

Stabilization: Spin stabilized.

See also: JPL's Ulysses Project website.