Shop Windows to the Universe

Science, Evolution, and Creationism, by the National Academies, focuses on teaching evolution in today's classrooms. Check out the other publications in our online store.

The Ulysses Mission
News story originally written on June 30, 1997

"..Come, my friends, tis not too late to seek a newer world."
-Tennyson in "Ulysses"

Ulysses is a space mission designed to explore the unknown region of space above the north and south poles of the Sun. Ulysses is a joint mission of the European Space Agency (ESA) and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)The ESA provided the spacecraft and the team that operates the spacecraft. NASA launched the spacecraft on the Shuttle Discovery in October 1990. NASA is also responsible for radio communications and data management for the overall mission.

The Ulysses spacecraft flew by Jupiter in February 1992, for the gravity assist needed to place the spacecraft into orbit around the Sun.

The purpose of the Ulysses mission is to investigate the solar magnetic field, solar wind plasma, and galactic cosmic rays coming from the Sun. There are 12 instruments onboard Ulysses to help scientists investigate these solar topics.

The phenomena being studied by the Ulysses mission are strongly influenced by the 11 year solar cycle. The primary mission which ended in September 1995, extended over half of the solar cycle. The secondary mission (or second pass around the Sun) happens during the second half of a cycle. It is here at solar maximum that Ulysses will encounter solar flares, coronal mass ejections and streamers.

With the first phase of its mission successfully completed, Ulysses is now in its second orbit of the Sun. This secondary phase will be finished in December 2001.


Last modified March 6, 2001 by Jennifer Bergman.

Shop Windows to the Universe Science Store!

Our online store includes fun classroom activities for you and your students. Issues of NESTA's quarterly journal, The Earth Scientist are also full of classroom activities on different topics in Earth and space science!

Windows to the Universe Community

News

Opportunities

You might also be interested in:

Traveling Nitrogen Classroom Activity Kit

Check out our online store - minerals, fossils, books, activities, jewelry, and household items!...more

Helmet Streamers and the Magnetic Structure of the Corona

The gas in the solar corona is at very high temperatures (typically 1-2 million kelvins in most regions) so it is almost completely in a plasma state (made up of charged particles, mostly protons and electrons)....more

Ulysses Going Strong During Solar Maximum

The Ulysses space probe has begun to investigate the Sun during solar maximum. Ulysses is now observing the South pole of the Sun. Ulysses has passed this way before, but during solar minimum. "Ulysses...more

Total Solar Eclipse - Coming Soon!

There is a solar eclipse coming to a movie theater near you! Actually, this is better than a theater! This is the real thing! There will be a total solar eclipse on February 26th. The total eclipse will...more

TRACING the Sun...

On March 30, 1998, the TRACE spacecraft will be launched. TRACE stands for Transition Region and Coronal Explorer (try saying that fast three times!). This spacecraft has four telescopes on it. The telescopes...more

TRACING the Sun...

The TRACE spacecraft was launched April 1st at 9:42 p.m. EST from the central California coast. TRACE stands for Transition Region and Coronal Explorer (try saying that fast three times!). This spacecraft...more

1999--A Year in Review...

It was another exciting and frustrating year for the space science program. It seemed that every step forward led to one backwards. Either way, NASA led the way to a great century of discovery. Unfortunately,...more

STS-95 Launch: "Let the wings of Discovery lift us on to the future."

The Space Shuttle Discovery lifted off from Kennedy Space Center on October 29th at 2:19 p.m. EST. The weather was great as Discovery took 8 1/2 minutes to reach orbit. This was the United States' 123rd...more

Windows to the Universe, a project of the National Earth Science Teachers Association, is sponsored in part by the National Science Foundation and NASA, our Founding Partners (the American Geophysical Union and American Geosciences Institute) as well as through Institutional, Contributing, and Affiliate Partners, individual memberships and generous donors. Thank you for your support! NASA AGU AGI NSF