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The Shuttle Discovery launched the Ulysses spacecraft on October 6, 1990. To reach high solar latitudes, the spacecraft was aimed close to Jupiter so that Jupiter's large gravitational field would accelerate Ulysses out of the ecliptic plane to high latitudes.

Sun Image

Encounter with Jupiter occurred on February 8, 1992, and since then Ulysses traveled to higher latitudes with maximum Southern latitude of 80.2 degrees being achieved on September 13, 1994. Ulysses traveled through high Northern latitudes during June through September 1995. These high latitude observations were obtained during the quiet (minimum) portion of the 11-year solar cycle.

In order to fully understand our amazing star, it was necessary to study the Sun at near maximum conditions. During the Solar Maximum mission, Ulysses reached maximum Southern latitude on November 27, 2000 and traveled through High Northern latitude September through December 2001.

After more than 12 years in flight, Ulysses has returned a wealth of data that has led to a much broader understanding of the Global Structure of the Sun's environment-the heliosphere.

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