Solar Observer Rides a Pegasus

Ten Five years ago today — January 25, 2003 — a Pegasus XL rocket carried the SOlar Radiation and Climate Experiment (SORCE) satellite to orbit.

(SORCE during pre-launch integration. Orbital Sciences Corporation image from the University of Colorado SORCE page.)

The SORCE Sun-Earth Connection observation system was developed to measure incoming energy from the Sun for the purpose of studying its effects on climate change. Its instruments measured total solar radiation, including visible light, ultraviolet, infrared, and x-rays.*

The Pegasus rocket that carried the spacecraft to orbit was dropped from its L-1011 “mothership” after flying out of Cape Canaveral.

You can find more information about SORCE on its University of Colorado page.

*Bonus points to anyone who can tell me, without Googling, why I listed them as “ultraviolet, infrared, and x-rays.”

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