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Extreme Ultraviolet Explorer

Phase: Past

Launch Date: June 07, 1992

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The Extreme-Ultraviolet Explorer (EUVE) was a spinning spacecraft designed to rotate about the Earth/Sun line. EUVE was a part of NASA's Explorer spacecraft series, and designed to operate in the extreme ultraviolet (EUV) range of the spectrum, from 70 - 760 Angstroms. This spacecraft's objective was to carry out a full-sky survey, and subsequently, a deep-survey and pointed observations. Science objectives included discovering and studying UV sources radiating in this spectral region, and analyzing effects of the interstellar medium on the radiation from these sources.

The full-sky survey was accomplished by three Wolter-Schwarzschild grazing-incidence telescopes. During the sky survey, the satellite was spun three times per orbit to image a 2 degree wide band of sky in each of four EUV passbands. The deep-survey was accomplished with a fourth Wolter-Schwarzschild grazing-incidence telescope, within a 2x180 degree region of sky. This telescope was also used for three-EUV bandpass spectroscopy of individual sources, providing ~ 1-2 Angstrom resolution spectra. The science instruments were attached to a Multi-mission Modular spacecraft (MMS). The MMS was 3-axis stabilized, with a stellar reference control system and solar arrays.

The EUVE mission was extended twice, but cost and scientific merit issues led NASA to a decision to terminate the mission in 2000. EUVE satellite operations ended on January 31, 2001 when the spacecraft was placed in a safehold. Transmitters were commanded off on February 2, 2001. EUVE re-entered the Earth's atmosphere over central Egypt at approximately 11:15pm EST on January 30, 2002. The mission is considered a success since it accomplished its scientific, technological, and outreach goals.

Science Highlights:

  • During its eight years in orbit, EUVE helped improve our understanding of the extreme ultraviolet spectrum.
  • EUVE completed an all-sky survey catalog comprised of 801 objects.
  • EUVE provided the first extreme ultraviolet detection of more than three dozen extragalactic objects.
  • EUVE discovered a new class of massive White Dwarfs.
  • EUVE provided the first measurement of Helium in the Martian atmosphere.

Last updated: May 28, 2015

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