MEMORANDUM OF UNDERSTANDING BETWEEN THE UNITED STATES NATIONAL AERONAUTICS AND SPACE ADMINISTRATION AND THE EUROPEAN SPACE AGENCY FOR THE INTERNATIONAL SOLAR POLAR MISSION

ARTICLE 1 – Purpose

The United States National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and the European Space Agency (ESA), desiring to extend the fruitful cooperation developed in previous joint space projects, affirm their mutual interest in carrying out a further cooperative spacecraft project for peaceful scientific purposes. Accordingly, NASA and ESA will undertake a cooperative project, to be known as the International Solar Polar Mission (hereinafter referred to as the ISPM project), to send two instrumented spacecraft far out of the ecliptic plane of the solar system to conduct coordinated observations of the interplanetary medium and the Sun simultaneously in the northern and southern hemispheres of the solar system.

ARTICLE 2 – Mission

  • (1)  

    The primary objectives of the scientific mission will be to investigate, at the various solar latitudes out of the ecliptic plane of the solar system, the properties of the solar corona, the solar wind, the structure of the Sun-wind interface, the heliospheric magnetic field, solar and non-solar cosmic rays, and the interstellar/interplanetary neutral gas and dust. Secondary objectives of the mission include interplanetary physics investigations during the initial Earth–Jupiter phase, when the separation of the two spacecraft will be approximately 0.01 astronomical unit, and measurements of the Jovian magnetosphere during the Jupiter flyby phase.

  • (2)  

    The ISPM project involves the planned dual launching in early 1983 of the two spacecraft – one developed by NASA and the other by ESA – by the Space Transportation System (STS) on a single space shuttle mission with an Inertial Upper Stage (IUS) of suitable configuration. The two spacecraft, which will separate shortly after launch, will be directed towards Jupiter so that after Jovian encounter, one spacecraft will be carried out of the ecliptic plane into the northern solar



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