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ISEE-3/ICE
ISEE-3/ICE Mission to Comets ISEE-3/ICE Mission to Our Solar System

Goals: International Sun-Earth Explorer-3 (ISEE-3) was to investigate the solar wind and its interaction with Earth's magnetic field, among other phenomena in interplanetary space. It was later renamed International Cometary Explorer (ICE) and used to study two comets during an extended mission.

Accomplishments: ISEE-3 was the first spacecraft to orbit the Sun at L1, a location in space where an object remains directly between Earth and Sun throughout its orbit. Coordinated with the two Earth-orbiting satellites in the International Sun-Earth Explorer (ISEE) program, ISEE-3 enabled scientists to measure solar and geomagnetic phenomena from different points in time and space. It was the first spacecraft to monitor the solar wind approaching Earth, and continued the investigation of cosmic rays and solar flare emissions in the interplanetary region near Earth's orbit.

   

Key Dates
12 Aug 1978:  Launch (15:12 UT)
20 Nov 1978:  Entered Halo orbit at Lagrangian Libration Point 1 (L1)
22 Dec 1983:  Entered Heliocentric Orbit
11 Sep 1985:  Traversed Plasma Tail of Comet Giacobini-Zinner
Mar 1986:  Comet Halley Observations
Status: Successful
Fast Facts
ISEE-3/ICE was the first spacecraft to orbit a Lagrangian libration point and the first to monitor the solar wind.

It also was the first spacecraft to fly past a comet (Giacobini-Zinner).
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Last Updated: 7 Feb 2014