ISEE-3 (ICE) Revisits Earth
ISEE-3 (International Sun-Earth Explorer) was a mission launched in 1978 and was the first spacecraft to orbit the Earth-Sun L1 (Wikipedia: Lagrange) point.
Its primary mission complete, it was renamed the International Cometary Explorer (ICE) and its orbit was altered to measure the electrodynamic environments of comets Giacobini-Zinner and Halley (Wikipedia). It subsequently entered a solar orbit which sent it inside and outside the orbit of the Earth.
In mid-2014, its current orbit will have ICE pass close to the Earth.
Top-down view of the orbit of ISEE-3(ICE) relative to the inner solar system. We see the orbit alternates with the spacecraft occasionally closer, then further from the Sun that Earth.
An oblique view of the orbit of ISEE-3(ICE) relative to the inner planets. Close-up view of the Earth flyby in mid-2014.
Please give credit for this item to:
NASA's Scientific Visualization Studio
Datasets used in this visualization
JPL/Horizon Orbital EphemeridesID: 597Ephemeris NASA/JPL 2008-08-01 - 2014-08-01
DE421 (JPL DE421)ID: 752Ephemeris NASA/JPL 2008-08-01 - 2014-08-01
Note: While we identify the data sets used in these visualizations, we do not store any further details, nor the data sets themselves on our site.