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Mission Operations

Mission Operations

The mission control for SOHO is situated at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Centre near Washington DC. Communication with the spacecraft goes via three radio dishes of NASA's Deep Space Network, located near Goldstone (California), Canberra (Australia) and Madrid (Spain).

The main tasks of the controllers are to keep SOHO pointing at the Sun and to maintain its halo orbit that takes it around Lagrange Point L1 roughly every six months. SOHO has an Emergency Sun Reaquisition routine to point it automatically at the Sun in the event of any mishap.

Diagram (not to scale) of SOHO at Lagrange point L1, ~1.5 million kilometres sunward of the Earth

Also based at Goddard is a scientific team led by ESA and NASA's project scientists, which plans and executes daily programmes of observations with SOHO's 12 sets of instruments. The principal investigators responsible for the instruments are in continual touch via the internet, and attend periodic meetings of the Science Working Team. Some of the instrumental teams have permanent representatives at Goddard.

Last Update: 1 September 2019
19-May-2024 17:31 UT

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