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Solar System Exploration
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Helios 2
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Helios 2
Helios 2 Mission to Our Solar System

Goals: Like its twin, Helios 1, which was launched about 14 months earlier, this spacecraft was to make pioneering measurements of the interplanetary medium from the vicinity of Earth's orbit to about 0.3 AU from the Sun.

Accomplishments: Helios 2 looped around the Sun in an orbit that took it from Earth's orbit (1 AU from the Sun) to about 0.29 AU from the Sun and back again, flying some 3 million km closer to the Sun than did its predecessor. The spacecraft provided information on solar plasma, the solar wind, cosmic rays, and cosmic dust, and also performed magnetic-field and electrical-field experiments.


Key Dates
15 Jan 1976:  Launch
Status: Successful
Fast Facts
Helios 2 Facts Broke the record at the time (set by Helios 1) for closest approach to the Sun by an artificial object.

The spacecraft was exposed to 10 percent more heat than was its predecessor.

The mission was a cooperative effort between the U.S. and Germany.
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Last Updated: 29 Nov 2010