International Sun-Earth Explorer

International Sun–Earth Explorer

(ISEE) A joint project of NASA and ESA for studying the structure and interactions within the Earth's magnetosphere and the solar phenomena producing such effects. The two satellites ISEE–1 and ISEE–2 were launched in tandem, in Oct. 1977, into a highly eccentric Earth orbit at a controllable distance apart. ISEE–3 was launched in Aug. 1978 into an orbit around the Sun–Earth Lagrangian point L1, a point lying outside the magnetosphere, where it measured the solar wind, solar flares, and sunspots, unperturbed by the Earth's influence. It was thus a reference point for simultaneous observations made by ISEE–1 and ISEE–2. In 1982/83 the trajectory of ISEE–3 was altered so that it would intercept the comet Giacobini-Zinner. The craft was renamed the International Cometary Explorer (ICE). It was the first spacecraft to rendezvous with two comets, flying through the plasma tail of Giacobini-Zinner in Sept. 1985, where it made particle, field and wave measurements, and passing between the Sun and Halley's comet in March 1986, at a distance from Halley's nucleus of 28 million km. By 1990, ICE had taken up a 355-day orbit around the Sun. In 1991, its mission was extended once more in order to study coronal mass ejections and cosmic rays. It was also occasionally linked up with ESA's Ulysses probe on certain science projects. NASA shut down the spacecraft in May 1997. It will return to the vicinity of the Earth in 2014. NASA has already agreed that, if the craft can be recovered successfully, it is to be donated to the Smithsonian Institute.
Collins Dictionary of Astronomy © Market House Books Ltd, 2006
References in periodicals archive ?
NASA's 35-year-old International Sun-Earth Explorer 3 spacecraft is back in action.
Launched in 1978, the International Sun-Earth Explorer was a small spacecraft maneuvered into a halo orbit around the L1 libration point, 1.5 million km sunward from Earth, where its x-ray and gamma-ray spectrometers enabled the study of both solar flares and cosmic gamma-ray bursts.
The first satellite to reach the L1 point, in 1978, was the International Sun-Earth Explorer 3.
Two or three days and 93 million miles later, the solar-orbiting International Sun-Earth Explorer (ISEE-3) will take measurements of the same blob.
This was the position formerly occupied by a satellite known as International Sun-Earth Explorer 3, which was shifted from that location and which, using the name of ICE, flew through the tail of comet Giacobini-Zinner last Sept.
Frank's team also found that plasma electrons travel nearly 10 times faster than indicated by measurements from ISEE-3, the third in a family of satellites called the International Sun-Earth Explorers, which sampled Earth's magnetotail in 1982.
It was launched in 1978 as ISEE-3, the third in a family of satellites called the International Sun-Earth explorers, and sent to a bizarre orbit around an imaginary point between the earth and sun.

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