National Aeronautics and Space Administration Logo
Follow this link to skip to the main content NASA Banner
Solar System Exploration
Missions to Comets
 By Target   By Name   By Decade 
Beyond Our Solar System Our Solar System Sun Mercury Venus Moon Earth Mars Dwarf Planets Dwarf Planets Dwarf Planets Asteroids Comets Jupiter Saturn Uranus Neptune Kuiper Belt
Suisei Mission to Comets

Goals: The main objective was to take UV images of Comet Halley's hydrogen coma for about 30 days before and after the comet's crossing of the ecliptic plane. The spacecraft was also to gather data on the solar wind.

Accomplishments: Suisei flew by Comet Halley at a distance of about 151,000 km, returning ultraviolet images from within the giant coma of hydrogen gas surrounding the nucleus. It detected cometary water, carbon monoxide and carbon dioxide ions, and observed at least two major and four minor outbursts. Suisei observed that the solar wind slowed from 350 km/s to 70 km/s at a distance of about 420,000 km from the comet.

Key Dates
18 Aug 1985:  Launch
8 Mar 1986:  Comet Halley Flyby
Status: Successful
Fast Facts
Suisei Facts Suisei means comet in Japanese. It was also the name of a Japanese World War II fighter (right).

Even though it kepts it distance from comet Halley, Suisei was still hit by dust particles.

Suisei was 1.4 kg (3 pounds) heavier than its sister spacecraft, Sakigake.
Awards and Recognition   Solar System Exploration Roadmap   Contact Us   Site Map   Print This Page
NASA Official: Kristen Erickson
Advisory: Dr. James Green, Director of Planetary Science
Outreach Manager: Alice Wessen
Curator/Editor: Phil Davis
Science Writers: Courtney O'Connor and Bill Dunford
Producer: Greg Baerg
Webmaster: David Martin
> NASA Science Mission Directorate
> Budgets, Strategic Plans and Accountability Reports
> Equal Employment Opportunity Data
   Posted Pursuant to the No Fear Act
> Information-Dissemination Policies and Inventories
> Freedom of Information Act
> Privacy Policy & Important Notices
> Inspector General Hotline
> Office of the Inspector General
> NASA Communications Policy
> NASA Advisory Council
> Open Government at NASA
Last Updated: 1 Dec 2010