LOADING...

IRIS-Launch

Heliophysics

Artist concept of space weather showing an active Sun with flares and a CME in the upper right, the Earth in the lower right with types of technology affected by space weather to the lower left; satellites, airplanes, the ISS and ground-based electrical lines. Studying the Sun-Earth connection.
Read More

 

IRIS Launch Updates

IRIS Reaches Orbit
Thu, 27 Jun 2013 10:46:35 PM EDT

NASA's Interface Region Imaging Spectrograph (IRIS) solar observatory separated from its Pegasus rocket and is in the proper orbit. This followed a successful launch by the Orbital Sciences Pegasus XL rocket from Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif. It was the final Pegasus launch currently manifested by NASA. NASA's Launch Services Program at the agency's Kennedy Space Center in Florida managed the countdown and launch.

IRIS is a NASA Small Explorer Mission to observe how solar material moves, gathers energy and heats up as it travels through a little-understood region in the sun's lower atmosphere. This interface region between the sun's photosphere and corona powers its dynamic million-degree atmosphere and drives the solar wind.

› View Rss

 

IRIS Launch

Launch Date: June 27
Mission: Interface Region Imaging Spectrograph (IRIS)
Launch Time: 7:27 p.m. PDT (10:27 EDT)
Launch Vehicle: Pegasus XL
Launch Site: Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif.

The Pegasus rocket carrying the IRIS satellite, ignites its engine
› View larger image
The Pegasus rocket ignites to send NASA's IRIS spacecraft into orbit. Photo credit: NASA TV.

NASA's Interface Region Imaging Spectrograph (IRIS) spacecraft launched June 27, 2013 at 7:27 p.m. PDT (10:27 p.m. EDT) from Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif. The mission to study the solar atmosphere was placed in orbit by an Orbital Sciences Corporation Pegasus XL rocket. IRIS is a NASA Explorer Mission to observe how solar material moves, gathers energy and heats up as it travels through a little-understood region in the sun's lower atmosphere. This interface region between the sun's photosphere and corona powers its dynamic million-degree atmosphere and drives the solar wind. The interface region also is where most of the sun's ultraviolet emission is generated. These emissions impact the near-Earth space environment and Earth's climate.

The Pegasus XL carrying IRIS was deployed from an Orbital L-1011 carrier aircraft over the Pacific Ocean at an altitude of 39,000 feet, off the central coast of California about 100 miles northwest of Vandenberg. The rocket placed IRIS into a sun-synchronous polar orbit that will allow it to make almost continuous solar observations during its two-year mission.

IRIS Press Kit (pdf)

 

Multimedia

Aircraft and rocket are joined at the runway IRIS Launch Videos
› View launch videos  →

Mission Extras

Pegasus wing is positioned. › View Prelaunch Image Gallery

 


Mission quiz thumbnail Test Your Knowledge

Find out if you've got the right stuff to plot the course for future space missions.
› Take the Quiz

 


The new Rocket Science 101! Rocket Science 101 - Updated!

Choose a NASA mission, put together a rocket to fly it on and watch it launch!
› Build a Rocket

 

Page Last Updated: September 30th, 2013
Page Editor: Steven Siceloff