The Ulysses legacy

The Ulysses legacy
12 June 2008

The Ulysses mission has made fundamental contributions to our understanding of the Sun, its surroundings and our local interstellar neighbourhood.


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For more than 17 years, the joint ESA/NASA mission Ulysses studied the heliosphere (the sphere of influence of the Sun) and our local interstellar neighbourhood, providing the first-ever map of the heliosphere in the four dimensions of space and time.

Ulysses was designed to last for five years but it is still returning valuable data. The mission, which takes the spacecraft over the poles of the Sun, was extended four times, allowing Ulysses to pass over the Sun’s poles for a second and third time.

But like all good things, the mission is coming to an end.

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