ESA, NASA to share space achievement award

PARIS (UPI) — The Ulysses observatory, a U.S.-European mission, has won an international award for the scientific productivity of the spacecraft, now orbiting the sun. The European Space Agency and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration will receive the 2008 International SpaceOps Award for Outstanding Achievement from the International Committee on Technical Interchange for Space Mission Operations and Ground Data Systems, also known as the SpaceOps Committee.

The award will be presented during the SpaceOps 2008 Conference next week in Heidelberg, Germany. The Ulysses spacecraft was launched in 1990 on a planned five-year mission; keeping the hugely successful spacecraft operating for more than 17 years has presented operations engineers on the ground with a series of unique challenges, the ESA said.

According to the SpaceOps Secretariat, the achievement award is presented for “outstanding efforts in overcoming space operations and support challenges, and recognizes those teams or individuals whose exceptional contributions were critical to the success of a space mission.

” The spacecraft was built in Europe, while NASA provided the radioisotope thermoelectric generator power source and the launch on board space shuttle Discovery in 1990. The scientific payload was provided by both U.S. and European investigators.

Copyright 2008 by United Press International
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