ISEE-3 was the third of three ISEE (International Sun-Earth Explorer) mission, designed and operated by NASA in cooperation with ESA (European Space Agency). Objectives included investigating: solar-terrestrial relationships at the outermost boundaries of the Earth's magnetosphere; and motions of and mechanisms operating in the plasma sheets.

Current status: Contact was lost with the probe on September 16 2014.

Imperial’s involvement: Imperial researchers built an instrument to measure the fluxes of energetic particles in interplanetary space. The Principal Investigator of this instrument was Bob Hynds, and the onboard Data Processing Unit was designed by Professor Andre Balogh.



Ulysses was a robotic space probe whose primary mission was to orbit the Sun and study it at all latitudes. In addition, the probe studied several comets. 

Current status: Mission ended (switched off comms) 30.06.2009

Imperial’s involvement: Imperial is the home of the Ulysses magnetic field and anisotropy telescope investigations. Imperial's Principal Investigator on Cluster is Professor Andre Balogh.

ESA official Ulysses website

Imperial and Ulysses

Solar Orbiter

Solar Orbiter is Europe's mission to explore the Sun and its connection into space.

Current status: Launch February 2020. The mission is planned to last seven years.

Imperial’s involvement: Imperial is the lead on the magnetometer instrument (MAG). Imperial's Principal Investigator on Solar Orbiter is Professor Tim Horbury.

ESA official Solar Orbiter website

Imperial and the Solar Orbiter


Lagrange is a dedicated space weather monitoring mission, providing early warning data about possible space weather events and their potential impact on the Earth

Proposed launch date: 2025

Imperial’s involvement:  Dr Jonathan Eastwood is principal investigator for the magnetic field instrument, part of the in situ monitoring payload

Lagrange proposal