Exploring the Extreme Ultraviolet

Twenty years ago today — June 7, 1992 — a Delta II rocket launched from Cape Canaveral, carrying the Extreme Ultraviolet Explorer (EUVE) spacecraft.

(Artist’s conception of EUVE. NASA image.)

EUVE was, as its name implies, an Explorer series spacecraft built to survey the sky in “the extreme ultraviolet range of the spectrum, from 70 – 760 Angstroms.” In addition to a full-sky survey, EUVE also conducted a “deep-survey” and made specific observations.

EUVE operated well throughout its mission life and two mission extensions, until operations ceased on January 31, 2001. The spacecraft de-orbited a year later and “re-entered the Earth’s atmosphere over central Egypt.”

Of particular interest to science fiction fans, one of the project scientists for EUVE was Dr. Yoji Kondo. I had the pleasure of meeting Dr. Kondo at Ravencon a few years ago. He’s a delightful fellow, and it’s no surprise that EUVE performed so well since he was involved in it.

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