Encyclopedia Astronautica
ISEE



ice.jpg
ICE
Credit: NASA
American earth magnetosphere satellite. 3 launches, 1977.10.22 (ISEE 1) to 1978.08.12 (ISEE 3). These Explorer-class heliocentric spacecraft were part of the mother/daughter/heliocentric mission (ISEE 1, 2, and 3).

The purposes of the mission were: (1) to investigate solar-terrestrial relationships at the outermost boundaries of the Earth's magnetosphere; (2) to examine in detail the structure of the solar wind near the Earth and the shock wave that forms the interface between the solar wind and Earth's magnetosphere; (3) to investigate motions of and mechanisms operating in the plasma sheets; and, (4) to continue the investigation of cosmic rays and solar flare emissions in the interplanetary region near 1 AU. The three spacecraft carried a number of complementary instruments for making measurements of plasmas, energetic particles, waves, and fields.

The mission thus extended the investigations of previous IMP spacecraft. The launch of three coordinated spacecraft in this mission permitted the separation of spatial and temporal effects. This heliocentric spacecraft had a spin axis normal to the ecliptic plane and a spin rate of about 20 rpm. It was initially placed into an elliptical halo orbit about the Lagrangian librations point (L1) 235 Earth radii on the sunward side of the Earth, where it continuously monitored changes in the near-Earth interplanetary medium. In conjunction with the mother and daughter spacecraft, which had eccentric geocentric orbits, this mission explored the coupling and energy transfer processes between the incident solar wind and the Earth's magnetosphere. In addition, the heliocentric ISEE 3 spacecraft also provided a near-Earth baseline for making cosmic-ray and other planetary measurements for comparison with corresponding measurements from deep-space probes. ISEE 3 was the first spacecraft to use the halo orbit. In 1982 ISEE 3 conducted a series of maneuvers that resulted in it being ejected out of the Earth-Moon system and into a heliocentric orbit ahead of the Earth, on a trajectory intercepting that of Comet Giacobini-Zinner. At this time, the spacecraft was renamed International Cometary Explorer (ICE). The primary scientific objective of ICE was to study the interaction between the solar wind and a cometary atmosphere. The spacecraft traversed the plasma tail of Comet Giacobini-Zinner and made in situ measurements of particles, fields, and waves. It also transited between the Sun and Comet Halley, when other spacecraft (Giotto, Planet-A, MS-T5, VEGA) were also in the vicinity of Comet Halley on their comet rendezvous missions. ICE became the first spacecraft to directly investigate two comets. Tracking and telemetry support have been provided by the DSN (Deep Space Network). The ISEE bit rate was nominally 2048 bps during the early part of the mission, and 1024 bps during the Giacobini-Zinner comet encounter. An update to the ICE mission was approved by NASA headquarters in 1991. It defined a Heliospheric mission for ICE consisting of investigations of coronal mass ejections in coordination with ground-based observations, continued cosmic ray studies, and special period observations such as when ICE and Ulysses were on the same solar radial line. Termination of operations of ISEE 3 was authorized May 5, 1997.

AKA: International Sun-Earth Explorer.
First Launch: 1977.10.22.
Last Launch: 1978.08.12.
Number: 3 .

More... - Chronology...


Associated Countries
See also
  • Delta The Delta launch vehicle was America's longest-lived, most reliable, and lowest-cost space launch vehicle. Development began in 1955 and it continued in service in the 21st Century despite numerous candidate replacements. More...

Associated Launch Vehicles
  • Delta American orbital launch vehicle. The Delta launch vehicle was America's longest-lived, most reliable, and lowest-cost space launch vehicle. Delta began as Thor, a crash December 1955 program to produce an intermediate range ballistic missile using existing components, which flew thirteen months after go-ahead. Fifteen months after that, a space launch version flew, using an existing upper stage. The addition of solid rocket boosters allowed the Thor core and Able/Delta upper stages to be stretched. Costs were kept down by using first and second-stage rocket engines surplus to the Apollo program in the 1970's. Continuous introduction of new 'existing' technology over the years resulted in an incredible evolution - the payload into a geosynchronous transfer orbit increasing from 68 kg in 1962 to 3810 kg by 2002. Delta survived innumerable attempts to kill the program and replace it with 'more rationale' alternatives. By 2008 nearly 1,000 boosters had flown over a fifty-year career, and cancellation was again announced. More...
  • Delta 2914 American orbital launch vehicle. Four stage vehicle consisting of 9 x Castor 2 + 1 x ELT Thor/RS-27 + 1 x Delta P /TR-201 + 1 x Star 37E More...
  • Delta 2000 American orbital launch vehicle. The Delta 2000 series used Castor 2 strap-ons together with an Extended Long Tank core equipped with the more powerful RS-27 engine. This engine was derived from surplus H-1 engines intended for the Saturn IB booster of the Apollo programme. The Delta P upper stage was built by Douglas and used surplus Apollo lunar module engines from TRW. More...

Associated Manufacturers and Agencies
  • NASA American agency overseeing development of rockets and spacecraft. National Aeronautics and Space Administration, USA, USA. More...

Bibliography
  • McDowell, Jonathan, Jonathan's Space Home Page (launch records), Harvard University, 1997-present. Web Address when accessed: here.
  • JPL Mission and Spacecraft Library, Jet Propulsion Laboratory, 1997. Web Address when accessed: here.
  • National Space Science Center Planetary Page, As of 19 February 1999.. Web Address when accessed: here.

Associated Launch Sites
  • Cape Canaveral America's largest launch center, used for all manned launches. Today only six of the 40 launch complexes built here remain in use. Located at or near Cape Canaveral are the Kennedy Space Center on Merritt Island, used by NASA for Saturn V and Space Shuttle launches; Patrick AFB on Cape Canaveral itself, operated the US Department of Defense and handling most other launches; the commercial Spaceport Florida; the air-launched launch vehicle and missile Drop Zone off Mayport, Florida, located at 29.00 N 79.00 W, and an offshore submarine-launched ballistic missile launch area. All of these take advantage of the extensive down-range tracking facilities that once extended from the Cape, through the Caribbean, South Atlantic, and to South Africa and the Indian Ocean. More...
  • Cape Canaveral LC17B Delta launch complex. Part of a dual launch pad complex built for the Thor ballistic missile program in 1956. Upgraded over the decades for use with Thor, Delta, Delta II, and Delta III launch vehicles, it remained in use for over half a century. More...

ISEE Chronology


1977 October 22 - . 13:53 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC17B. LV Family: Delta. Launch Vehicle: Delta 2914. LV Configuration: Delta 2914 623/D135.
  • ISEE 1 - . Payload: ISEE A. Mass: 340 kg (740 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: NASA Greenbelt. Class: Earth. Type: Magnetosphere satellite. Spacecraft: ISEE. Decay Date: 1987-09-26 . USAF Sat Cat: 10422 . COSPAR: 1977-102A. Apogee: 137,806 km (85,628 mi). Perigee: 436 km (270 mi). Inclination: 12.7000 deg. Period: 3,441.00 min. Summary: International Sun-Earth Explorer. Spacecraft engaged in research and exploration of the upper atmosphere or outer space (US Cat B). .
  • ISEE 2 - . Payload: ISEE B. Mass: 166 kg (365 lb). Nation: Europe. Agency: ESA. Class: Earth. Type: Magnetosphere satellite. Spacecraft: ISEE. Decay Date: 1987-09-26 . USAF Sat Cat: 10423 . COSPAR: 1977-102B. Apogee: 137,765 km (85,603 mi). Perigee: 406 km (252 mi). Inclination: 13.5000 deg. Period: 3,438.50 min. Summary: International Sun-Earth Explorer. .

1978 August 12 - . 15:12 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC17B. LV Family: Delta. Launch Vehicle: Delta 2914. LV Configuration: Delta 2914 633/D144.
  • ISEE 3 - . Payload: ISEE C. Mass: 479 kg (1,056 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: NASA Greenbelt. Class: Earth. Type: Magnetosphere satellite. Spacecraft: ISEE. USAF Sat Cat: 11004 . COSPAR: 1978-079A. Apogee: 1,089,200 km (676,700 mi). Perigee: 181 km (112 mi). Inclination: 1.0000 deg. Period: 67,852.90 min. International Sun-Earth Explorer; later renamed the International Cometary Explorer. Measured interaction between solar wind and Earth; rendezvoused with comet Giacobini-Zinner September 11, 1985. After several passes through the Earth's magnetotail, with gravity assists from lunar flybys in March, April, September and October of 1983, a final close lunar flyby (119.4 km above the moon's surface) on December 22, 1983, ejected the spacecraft out of the Earth-Moon system and into a heliocentric orbit ahead of the Earth, on a trajectory intercepting that of Comet Giacobini-Zinner. A total of fifteen propulsive maneuvers (four of which were planned) and five lunar flybys were needed to carry out the transfer from the halo orbit to an escape trajectory from the earth-moon system into a heliocentric orbit. The primary scientific objective of ICE was to study the interaction between the solar wind and a cometary atmosphere. As planned, the spacecraft traversed the plasma tail of Comet Giacobini-Zinner on September 11, 1985, and made in situ measurements of particles, fields, and waves. It also transited between the Sun and Comet Halley in late March 1986, when other spacecraft (Giotto, Planet-A, MS-T5, VEGA) were also in the vicinity of Comet Halley on their comet rendezvous missions. ICE became the first spacecraft to directly investigate two comets. An update to the ICE mission was approved by NASA headquarters in 1991. It defined a Heliospheric mission for ICE consisting of investigations of coronal mass ejections in coordination with ground-based observations, continued cosmic ray studies, and special period observations such as when ICE and Ulysses are on the same solar radial line. As of January 1990, ICE was in a 355 day heliocentric orbit with an aphelion of 1.03 AU, a perihelion of 0.93 AU and an inclination of 0.1 degree. This will bring it back to the vicinity of the earth-moon system in August, 2014. Termination of operations of ISEE 3 was authorized May 5, 1997. Additional Details: here....

1985 September 11 - .
  • ICE, Comet Giacobini-Zinner Flyby - . Nation: USA. Spacecraft: ISEE.

1986 March 28 - .
  • ICE, Comet Halley Distant Flyby - . Nation: USA. Spacecraft: ISEE.

1997 May 5 - .
  • Termination of operations of ISEE 3 - . Nation: USA. Spacecraft: ISEE.

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