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The Ulysses spacecraft is highly reliable, radiation-resistant, spin stabilized and had a mass of approximately 370 kg (814 pounds) at launch, including about 33.5 kg of hydrazine for attitude and spin-rate adjustments. The spacecraft's main elements are the box-like main body structure on which is mounted the 1.65 meter, Earth-pointing high-gain antenna that provides the communications link, and the RTG that supplies the electrical power. A 5.6-meter radial boom keeps three groups of experiments (two solid state X-? and gamma ray detectors, a tri-axial search coil magnetometer, a vector-helium magnetometer and a flux-gate magnetometer) well away from the spacecraft to avoid interference. A pair of monopole wire boom antennas with a combined length of 72 meters, extended outward perpendicular to the spin axis and a single 75 - meter monopole axial boom antenna protrudes along the spin axis opposite the high gain antenna to form a long, three-axis radio wave/plasma wave antenna. Experiment electronics and spacecraft subsystems are enclosed in the main body.

Ulysses Spacecraft

The science instruments for Ulysses were provided by the U.S. and European science teams. The spacecraft was built by Dornier Systems of Germany, for ESA, which is responsible for on-orbit operations. NASA provided the space shuttle Discovery and the IUS and PAM-S upper stages and the radioisotope thermoelectric generator, which was built for the U.S. Department of Energy by the General Electric Co.

Jet Propulsion Laboratory manages the U.S. portion of the mission for NASA's Office of Space Science, Washington, DC. Ulysses is being tracked and data gathered by NASA's Deep Space Network, which is operated by JPL. Spacecraft operations and data analysis are being performed at JPL by a joint ESA/JPL team.

This page was last updated August 19, 2009
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