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Important Missions for Solar System Exploration An overview from early ’50’s to today… Part V.

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Presentation on theme: "Important Missions for Solar System Exploration An overview from early ’50’s to today… Part V."— Presentation transcript:

1 Important Missions for Solar System Exploration An overview from early ’50’s to today… Part V

2 Hiten-Hagomoro: 01.24.90 Hiten was Japan's first mission to Earth's moon. The mission was designed to deliver a small orbiter - Hagomoro - to the Moon and test new technologies, including aerobraking manuever - using a planet's atmosphere to slow down. Hiten's successful use of Earth's amtosphere to slow down was the first successful aerobraking by a deep space probe. The spacecraft made a total of 10 wide orbits around the moon before it was deliberately crashed into the moon in April 1993.

3 Hubble Space Telescope: 04.24.90 For more than a decade, the Hubble Space Telescope has dazzled with stunning pictures of stars, galaxies and planets both in our solar system and beyond. The telescope orbits Earth at an altitude of 612 km (380 statute miles) at 28,000 kph (17,500 mph). At that speed, one orbit takes only 97 minutes. In order to take images of distant, faint objects, Hubble must be extremely steady and accurate. The telescope is able to lock onto a target without deviating more than 7/1000th of an arcsecond, or about the width of a human hair seen at a distance of 1 mile.

4 CRRES: 07.25.90 The Combined Release and Radiation Effects Satellite (CRRES) was launched into a geosynchronous transfer orbit (GTO) for a nominal three-year mission to investigate fields, plasmas, and energetic particles inside the Earth's magnetosphere.

5 Ulysses (International Solar Polar Mission): 10.06.90 Ulysses is the first spacecraft to study the unexplored region of space above our Sun's poles. The spacecraft was launched aboard the Space Shuttle Discovery and sent towards Jupiter with powerful booster rockets. After studying Jupiter for 17 days, Ulysses used the giant planet's gravity to hurl it into an orbit out of the Ecliptic Plane, where planets orbit our Sun. No manmade vehicle has the power to break out of the ecliptic plane, but with the help of Jupiter's powerful gravity Ulysses settled into an orbit that allows it to fly over the Sun's polar regions. Now well into an extended mission, Ulysses continues to send back valuable information on the inner working of our star, especially its magnetic field and how it influences our solar system.

6 Mars Observer: 09.25.92 Seventeen years after the successful Viking 1 and Viking 2 missions, Mars Observer was launched to make a detailed study of the red planet. The spacecraft, based on an Earth- orbiting communications satellite, carried a payload of science instruments designed to study the geology, geophysics and climate of Mars. The journey took 337 days. The spacecraft was about to begin pressurizing its fuel tanks in preparation for an orbit-insertion maneuver when its transmitters were turned off and the spacecraft was never heard from again.

7 Clementine: 01.25.94 Clementine (Deep Space Program Science Experiment, DSPSE) gave scientists their first total look at the the Moon's landscape. The spacecraft also found signs of a large deposit of ice in a permanently shadowed crater on the Moon's south pole. Clementine completed its mission of 297 lunar orbits. A planned asteroid encounter was cancelled due to a thruster malfunction that burned up its remaining fuel.

8 SOHO: 12.02.95 The international Solar and Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO) has been keeping a steady watch on the Sun since April 1996. Keeping the Sun under almost constant observation, the SOHO team has been able to warn Earth about approaching coronal mass ejections that could potentially disrupt communications. The team - and everyday people who just watch the website - have also discovered dozens of comets, many of which are destroyed by the Sun's powerful gravity and energy.

9 NEAR Shoemaker: 02.17.96 NEAR was NASA's first Discovery Program spacecraft to be launched and the first spacecraft to orbit and touchdown on the surface of an asteroid. After a flyby and imaging run past asteroid 253 Mathilde in 1997, NEAR began orbiting asteroid 433 Eros on February 14, 2000. The spacecraft returned the highest resolution images made of an asteroid at the time, as well as measuring its size, shape, mass, mass distribution, gravity and magnetic field. On February 12, 2001, the spacecraft made the first controlled descent to the surface of an asteroid, snapping an incredible series of 69 close-up photos of the rocky surface. After landing, the spacecraft sent back data from the surface of Eros for two weeks.

10 Mars Global Surveyor: 11.07.96 Mars Global Surveyor was the first successful mission to the Red Planet in two decades. After a year and a half trimming its orbit from a looping ellipse to a circular track around the planet (a process called aerobraking), the spacecraft began its prime mapping mission in March 1999. Surveyor observed Mars from a low-altitude, nearly polar orbit over the course of one complete Martian year, the equivalent of nearly two Earth years. Surveyor is now in on an extended mission and continues to send back images from Mars orbit.

11 Mars Pathfinder: 12.04.96 Mars Pathfinder demonstrated a number of innovative, economical, and highly effective approaches to spacecraft and mission design of a planetary landing mission. The second of the Discovery Program missions, development of the spacecraft and free-ranging surface rover was limited to 3 years and $150 million. No orbiter was used to scout a landing site and deliver the lander to the surface. Rather, the microrover, named Sojourner, was encased in a self-righting tetrahedral lander, which, in turn, was encapsulated in an aeroshell designed to withstand atmospheric entry. From Viking photos, a landing site had been pre-selected. Slowed in its descent by a system of parachutes and retro-rockets, the lander/rover then fell freely the last few hundred feet, bouncing on its inflated airbags over the Martian surface like a basketball. The airbags deflated, the petals of the lander opened, and the rover descended and began exploring and analyzing nearby rocks. The engineering design far exceeded expectations. Pathfinder's lander, named for the late Dr. Carl Sagan, operated nearly three times its design lifetime of 30 days, and the Sojourner rover operated 12 times its design lifetime of seven days.

12 Cassini-Huygens: 10.15.97 Cassini is the first spacecraft to orbit Saturn. The NASA orbiter is studying the intriguing features of Saturn's system of rings and moons. It also delivered the European Space Agency's Huygens Probe into the atmosphere of Saturn's moon Titan. Just hours after it arrived at Saturn, the orbiter sent back surprising science data and images that shed new light on the structure of Saturn's beautiful rings. The orbiter's 4-year primary mission should reveal much about Saturn and its intriguing system of rings and moons.

13 Lunar Prospector: 01.06.98 Lunar Prospector was designed to provide answers to long-standing questions about the Moon, its resources, its structure and its origins. For a year and a half, its five instruments - the gamma-ray spectrometer, alpha particle spectrometer, neutron spectrometer, magnetometer and electron reflectometer - mapped lunar resources, gravity, and magnetic fields, and even outgassing events. After a year and a half of ground-breaking science, Lunar Prospector took a bold step towards furthering its science legacy by intentionally impacting a targeted south polar crater of the Moon, in the hopes that ejecta from the impact could be seen from Earth and analyzed for the existence of water ice. Lunar Prospector was the first competitively selected and the third to launch in a series of missions in NASA's Discovery program. This program was developed to produce frequent, low-cost missions to explore the Solar System. Lunar Prospector was a simple and reliable spin-stabilized spacecraft. It rotated around its own central axis in order to control its orientation en route to the Moon. Prospector was small - when full of fuel, the spacecraft weighed only 295 kg (650 lb). That's about a quarter as heavy as an average-sized car!

14 Transition Region and Coronal Explorer: 04.02.98 TRACE will explore the three-dimensional magnetic structures that emerge through the visible surface of the Sun - the Photosphere - and define both the geometry and dynamics of the upper solar atmosphere: the Transition Region and Corona.

15 Nozomi: 07.03.98 Nozomi was intended to be Japan's first Mars orbiter, but a series of mishaps and malfunctions made it impossible for the spacecraft to reach its destination. After more than five years in space, the spacecraft ran out of fuel before it could be put onto the proper trajectory to orbit Mars. The spacecraft was instead sent into orbit around our Sun to avoid the possibility of a collision with Mars.

16 Deep Space 1: 10.24.98 After its successful 1999 asteroid encounter, Deep Space 1's was sent on an extended mission to study comet Borrelly. Scientists used the spacecraft to get a close look - the closest at the time - at a comet's nucleus and structure. Despite the failure of a system that helped the spacecraft determine its orientation, the flyby was a success. Deep Space 1 - dubbed 'the little spacecraft that could' - sent back excellent images and science data from a comet. The spacecraft was retired on Dec. 18, 2001.

17 Mars Climate Orbiter: 12.11.98 Mars Climate Orbiter mission was to study the red planet from orbit with cameras and atmospheric instruments and to serve as a communications relay for the Mars Polar Lander and Deep Space 2 probes. Communications were lost with the orbiter as it prepared to enter orbit around Mars. An investigation found the spacecraft burned up in Mars' atmosphere due to a navigation error caused by the failure to translate English units to Metric. Polar Lander and the Deep Space 2 Probes also were lost in an unrelated mishap.

18 Deep Space 2: 01.03.99 The Mars Microprobe Mission - Deep Space 2 - was intended to test new technologies and search for water ice in the south pole soil of Mars. The twin micropobes hitched a ride aboard Mars Polar Lander. Both the lander probes were lost during a Mars landing attempt in December 1999.

19 Mars Polar Lander: 01.03.99 Mars Polar Lander, launched in January 1999, was to be the first-ever landing in the polar regions of Mars, near the southern polar cap. However, communications were lost as the lander began its entry into the Martian atmosphere on December 3, 1999. The lander was equipped with cameras, a robotic arm and instruments to measure the composition of Martian soil. Two small microprobes - the Deep Space 2 technology mission - hitched a ride to Mars on the Lander, with the goal of penetrating into the Martian subsurface to detect water ice. The probes were also lost.

20 Stardust: 02.07.99 On January 2, 2004, Stardust flew within 236 kilometers of Comet Wild 2 and captured thousands of particles in its aerogel collector for return on Earth in January 2006. The encounter - the closest approach to a comet yet - revealed a much stranger world than previously believed.

21 FUSE: 06.24.99 The Far Ultraviolet Spectroscopic Explorer (FUSE) looks at light in the far ultraviolet portion of the electromagnetic spectrum (approximately 90 to 120 nanometers), which is unobservable with other telescopes. FUSE observes these wavelengths with much greater sensitivity and resolving power than previous instruments used to study light in this wavelength range.

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