|Launch Date||Oct. 19, 2008|
|Launch Site||Ronald Reagan Ballistic Missile Defense Test Site, Republic of the Marshall Islands|
|Destination||Our Solar System, Beyond Our Solar System|
|Status||Successful—Extended Mission in Progress|
IBEX, or Interstellar Boundary Explorer, is designed to detect the edge of our solar system. Operating from Earth orbit, the spacecraft uses neutral atom images to detect particles from the termination shock at the boundary between our solar system and interstellar space.
IBEX made the first all-sky maps of the heliosphere. One of the immediate results was a surprise: the maps are bisected by a bright, winding ribbon of unknown origin. The finding could change our understanding of the heliosphere.
Oct. 19, 2008: Launch
Launch Vehicle: Pegasus XL Rocket
Spacecraft Mass: 39 kilograms
Siddiqi, Asif A. Deep Space Chronicle: A Chronology of Deep Space and Planetary Probes 1958-2000, NASA, 2002.