solar-observing satellite

Solar-observing
satellites


Below are checklists of Solar-observing satellites, including launch dates and images of the satellites. This is a work in progress, and completeness is our goal. If readers know of additional information or images, please contact the authors using the e-mail addresses at the bottom of this page.

Note: Solar-observing satellites (such as Explorer-81 / HESSI / RHESSI / SMEX-6, Explorer-91 / IBEX / SMEX-10, and Explorer-94 / IRIS / SMEX-12) that are part of a larger mostly non-solar-observing series (in these examples they are part of the long Explorer-series) are listed only as part of that larger series. In other words, in such cases their entries are not repeated in this page.


Satellite series covered:


USA SOLar RADiation (SolRad)1 / GRAB / GREB series satellites:

SatelliteLaunch DateImages
referencelaunch coversother postal items
SolRad-1 / GRAB-11960-06-22 SolRad-1
SolRad
SolRad-1 (+ Transit-2A)
SolRadSolRad
SolRad-2 / GRAB-(2) [failed]1960-11-30
SolRad-3 / GRAB-21961-06-29 SolRad-3 (+ Injun-1)
SolRad-3 (+ Transit-4A+Injun-1)
SolRad-3 (+ Transit-4A+Injun-1)
SolRad-4A / GRAB-(3a) [failed]1962-01-24
SolRad-4B / GRAB-(3b) [failed]1962-04-26
SolRad-5 / GRABNever launched
SolRad-6 (carried by Poppy-2A) [partial failure]1963-06-15
SolRad-7A (carried by Poppy-3A)1964-01-11
SolRad-7B (carried by Poppy-4A)1965-03-09
SolRad-8 / Explorer-30 (SE-A)1965-11-19Explorer-30
SolRad-9 / Explorer-37 (SE-B)1968-03-05 Explorer-37
Explorer-37
SolRad-10 / Explorer-44 (SE-C)1971-07-09Explorer-44
SolRad-11A, SolRad-11B1976-03-14SolRad-11A+11B
SolRad-11CNever launched

1The SolRad satellites' primary mission was to locate Russian radar sites. Their secondary mission, to conduct solar radiation studies, did provide some scientific data, but the fundamental reason for including the secondary mission was to hide the true nature of these satellites.

West German Helios-series satellites:

SatelliteLaunch DateImages
referencelaunch coversother postal items
Helios-1 (Helios-A)1974-12-10 Helios
Helios-1
Helios (patch)
(West German)
Helios
(West German)
Helios
Helios-2 (Helios-B)1976-01-15

USA Orbiting Solar Observatory (OSO) series satellites:

SatelliteLaunch DateImages
referencelaunch coversother postal items
OSO-1 (OSO-A)1962-03-07OSO-1OSOOSO
OSO-2 (OSO-B)1965-02-03
OSO-C [failed]1965-08-25
OSO-3 (OSO-E)1967-03-08
OSO-4 (OSO-D)1967-10-18
OSO-5 (OSO-F)1969-01-22"OSO-5"
OSO-6 (OSO-G)1969-08-09 "OSO-6"
OSO-6 (mis-labeled "OSO-7")
OSO-7 (OSO-H)1971-09-29OSO-7
OSO-8 (OSO-I)1975-06-21 OSO-8
OSO-8
OSO-8
"OSO-8"
AOSOCanceled AOSO
AOSO
AOSO
AOSO (mis-labeled "OSO-1")
AOSO

Japanese Solar-series satellites:

SatelliteLaunch DateImages
referencelaunch coversother postal items
Solar-A / Yohkoh1991-08-30Solar-ASolarSolar
Solar-B / Hinode2006-09-22Solar-B

USA Solar Maximum Mission (SMM) satellite:

SatelliteLaunch DateImages
referencelaunch coversother postal items
SMM [rocket-launched]1980-02-14 SMM
SMM (patch, with STS-41C/Challenger)
SMM (patch, with STS-41C/Challenger)
SMM (rocket-launched)SMM
SMM [STS-41C/Challenger-repaired and re-deployed]1984-04-08/12SMM (repaired)

Russian Comprehensive ORbital Near-earth Observations of the Active Sun (CORONAS / KORONAS) series satellites:

SatelliteLaunch DateImages
referencelaunch coversother postal items
KORONAS-I1994-03-02KORONAS-IKORONAS / CORONASKORONAS / CORONAS
KORONAS-F2001-07-13KORONAS-F
KORONAS-Foton2009-01-30KORONAS-Foton

Other (selected) USA solar-observing satellites:

SatelliteLaunch DateImages
referencelaunch coversother postal items
Solwind / P78-11979-02-24SolwindSolwindSolwind
P80-2CanceledP80-2
Ulysses [STS-41/Discovery-deployed]1990-10-06 Ulysses
Ulysses
Ulysses (patch)
Ulysses (patch)
Ulysses (patch)
Ulysses (patch, with STS-41/Discovery)
UlyssesUlysses
Wind1994-11-01WindWindWind
Genesis / Discovery-52001-08-08GenesisGenesis Genesis
SORCE2003-01-25 SORCE
SORCE
SORCE
SORCE
SORCESORCE
STEREO-A, STEREO-B2006-10-26 STEREO
STEREO (patch)
STEREOSTEREO
SDO2010-02-11SDOSDOSDO
DSCOVR / Triana / "GoreSat"2015-02-11 Triana
DSCOVR
DSCOVR (patch)
DSCOVR (patch)
DSCOVRDSCOVR
PSP / SPP2018-08-12 PSP
PSP (patch)
PSPPSP
SWFO-L12024-?SWFO-L1

Other (selected) non-USA solar-observing satellites:

SatelliteCountryLaunch DateImages
referencelaunch coversother postal items
SOHOEurope (ESA)-USA (NASA)1995-12-02 SOHO (early-version)
SOHO (early-version)
SOHO
SOHO
SOHO
SOHO
SOHO (patch)
SOHOSOHO
PicardFrance (CNES)2010-06-15 Picard
Picard
PicardPicard
Solar OrbiterEurope (ESA)-USA (NASA)2020-02-10 Solar Orbiter
Solar Orbiter (patch)
Solar OrbiterSolar Orbiter


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Updated: 2024-01-22