Shop Windows to the Universe

Hands On Mineral Identification helps you to identify over 14,500 minerals! By M. Darby Dyar, Ph.D. See our DVD collection.

The Orbit of Ulysses

Ulysses was launched in October 1990. Ulysses was launched from the STS-41 mission of the space shuttle Discovery. Two Inertial Upper Stages (IUS) and a mission-specific Payload Assist Module (PAM) combined together to send Ulysses toward its out-of-ecliptic trajectory. To reach this out-of-ecliptic trajectory, Ulysses was sent out to the planet Jupiter, whose immense gravity was used to deflect the spacecraft in a slingshot fashion into a highly inclined orbit (80 degrees inclined to the ecliptic). The spacecraft reached the Sun's south pole in June 1994. Ulysses continued its orbit around the Sun reaching the north pole in June 1995. Ulysses has now embarked on its second orbit of the Sun. The spacecraft will make polar passes in the years 2000 and 2001. Ulysses' out-of-ecliptic orbit has a period of 6.2 years, approximately half of a solar cycle.

The Ulysses mission is presently approved to continue operating and collecting data through December 2001. With the approval of NASA and ESA, operations may be extended for several more years.

Last modified March 7, 2001 by Jennifer Bergman.

Shop Windows to the Universe Science Store!

Our online store includes books on science education, classroom activities in The Earth Scientist, mineral and fossil specimens, and educational games!

Windows to the Universe Community



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

Total Solar Eclipse - Coming Soon!

There is a solar eclipse coming to a theater near you! Well, Shakespeare said all the world's a stage, didn't he? There really will be a total solar eclipse on February 26th. The complete eclipse will...more

Ulysses Going Strong During Solar Maximum

The Ulysses space probe has begun to investigate the Sun during solar maximum. In September of 2000, Ulysses began to creep around the underside of the Sun. Ulysses has passed this way before, but during...more

Hubble Space Telescope

The Hubble Space Telescope (HST) was one of the most important exploration tools of the past two decades, and will continue to serve as a great resource well into the new millennium. The HST is credited...more

Apollo 11

Driven by a recent surge in space research, the Apollo program hoped to add to the accomplishments of the Lunar Orbiter and Surveyor missions of the late 1960's. Apollo 11 was the first mission to succeed...more

Apollo 12

Apollo 12 survived a lightning strike during its launch on Nov. 14, 1969, and arrived at the Moon three days later. Astronauts Charles Conrad and Alan Bean descended to the surface, while Richard Gordon...more

Apollo 15

Apollo 15 marked the start of a new series of missions from the Apollo space program, each capable of exploring more lunar terrain than ever before. Launched on July 26, 1971, Apollo 15 reached the Moon...more

Deep Impact Mission

NASA chose Deep Impact to be part of a special series called the Discovery Program on July 7, 1999. In May 2001, Deep Impact was given the "go" from NASA to start with mission development. Deep Impact...more

Windows to the Universe, a project of the National Earth Science Teachers Association, is sponsored in part is sponsored in part through grants from federal agencies (NASA and NOAA), and partnerships with affiliated organizations, including the American Geophysical Union, the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, the Earth System Information Partnership, the American Meteorological Society, the National Center for Science Education, and TERC. The American Geophysical Union and the American Geosciences Institute are Windows to the Universe Founding Partners. NESTA welcomes new Institutional Affiliates in support of our ongoing programs, as well as collaborations on new projects. Contact NESTA for more information. NASA ESIP NCSE HHMI AGU AGI AMS NOAA