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Wind Mission to Our Solar System

Goals: Wind's main purpose is to measure interplanetary conditions arising from the solar wind upstream of Earth's magnetosphere to complement measurements made in the magnetosphere by the Polar and Geotail satellites. Scientists hope that Wind's sensing of interplanetary disturbances will enable predictions in the future.

Accomplishments: For the first nine months of operation, Wind flew over Earth's day hemisphere to observe the planet's magnetosphere. Then it was sent to L1, a point at which an object remains between Earth and the Sun throughout the solar orbit, where it measured the solar wind before it reached Earth's magnetosphere. Wind has flown above and below the ecliptic plane to study rarely sampled regions of space, and has flown to L2, a point similar to L1 but where Earth is between the Sun and the spacecraft, where it investigated the solar wind after it has blown by our planet. Wind is now back at L1, where it is intended to remain.

Key Dates
1 Nov 1994:  Launch
Nov 1996:  Orbit Insertion at Lagrangian libration point L1
1998 - 2003:  Orbital Manuevers to L2
2004:  Return to L1 Orbit
Status: In Progress
Fast Facts
Wind Facts Wind studied rarely sampled regions of space.

Wind's observations continue to lead to significant scientific discoveries.

Wind's vantage point provides a viewpoint that can be combined with other spacecraft data for more detailed observations.
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Last Updated: 2 Dec 2010