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News archive

SciTech pays tribute to Willem Wamsteker the man behind one of the longest missions in astronomy, IUE, who died recently.
Published: 28 November 2005
What happens with an astronomical satellite after it is switched off? Answer: it keeps producing science. That is at least the true of the legendary International Ultraviolet Explorer (IUE) satellite, an ESA/NASA/UK project. IUE was the first space observatory ever launched and also the one that lived the longest - nearly two decades! This week ESA will release the new IUE archive (INES), the first astronomical database distributed to national data centres all over the world for faster and easier access. This new archive will no longer belong to ESA but to the entire scientific community.
Published: 14 March 2000
The Conference "UV Astrophysics beyond the IUE Final Archive" (11-14 November 1997) was organised to mark the end of the International Ultraviolet Explorer (IUE)project by the three Agencies responsible for the design and operations of this ultraviolet telescope in space. It represented the last time that thelarge community of astronomers utilising this amazing Space Observatory would get together to review the progress made in astrophysics usingthe results of IUE.
Published: 8 May 1998
The twenty-year saga of the International Ultraviolet Explorer, IUE, culminates in Sevilla, Spain, at a scientific conference, 11-14 November. The worlds astronomers will review the results of this spacecrafts unrivalled contribution to the exploration of the Universe in ultraviolet light. The IUE project team will also present the IUE Final Archive to the astronomical community, produced by reprocessing all of the spacecrafts observations. As an astonishing treasure-chest of data from IUEs long operating life, the Archive will enable astronomers to go on making discoveries for many years to come.
Published: 6 November 1997
The International Ultraviolet Explorer has completed a campaign of special observations of Jupiter in concert with the Hubble Space Telescope and with NASA's Galileo spacecraft now in orbit around the giant planet. IUE provided an unrepeatable opportunity for sustained observations by ultraviolet light, over 40 days, as its contribution to the programme called the International Jupiter Watch. Important targets were the aurorae, activated by charged particles hitting Jupiter's atmosphere, which IUE discovered around the planet's magnetic poles in 1980.
Published: 30 September 1996
At a meeting of the Science Programme Committee (SPC) of the European Space Agency (ESA) in February, the decision was taken to terminate the orbital operations of the International Ultraviolet Explorer (IUE) satellite on September 30. Science operations will terminate shortly before that date to allow the necessary end-of-life testing of the spacecraft. Only a year ago, when NASA - the major partner in the IUE project - decided to terminate its IUE science operations, ESA had been able to extend its support to include full responsibility for the scientific operations, under the "hybrid science operations" scheme, and thus maintain this important capability for the astrophysics community. As a consequence of the budgetary restrictions placed on ESA's Science Programme, the earlier recommendation of the Space Science Advisory Committee (SSAC), to terminate the operations of IUE in coordination with NASA in September, was accepted by the SPC.
Published: 12 August 1996
The International Ultraviolet Explorer (IUE) spacecraft, launched in January 1978, is one of the longest living and most successful spacecraft ever launched. For 18 years the IUE spacecraft was operated jointly by ESA and NASA, where spacecraft control and science operations were distributed with 16 hours science operations from the NASA IUE observatory at GSFC in Maryland and 8 hours from the ESA IUE Observatory at VILSPA near Madrid, Spain.
Published: 16 October 1995
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