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Interstellar Boundary Explorer


Designation 33401 / 08051A
Launch date 19 Oct 2008
Country of origin United States
Mission Astronomy
Perigee/Apogee 12,800 / 320,000 km
Launch vehicle Pegasus XL #41

The mission of the satellite is to make the first comprehensive image map of the boundary between the Solar System and interstellar space, where hot solar winds collide with the cold expanse of space. In partnership with the Southwest Research Institute (SwRI) of San Antonio, Texas/USA, which is managing the IBEX scientific program, with mission funding provided by NASA.
Worth $60 million

Will conduct extremely high-altitude orbits above Earth to investigate and capture images of processes taking place at the farthest reaches of the solar system. Known as the interstellar boundary, this region marks where the solar system meets interstellar space.

Is attached to a solid-state motor to reach the high elliptic orbit.

External resources


sat-index articles

Technical data


Prime contractor OSC
Platform MicroStar
Mass at launch 107 kg (450 kg with solid-state motor)
Dry mass 80 kg
Dimension 0.6 m high x 1 m diameter
Solar array  
DC power 116 W
Design lifetime 2 years

Carries two ENA (Energetic Neutral Atom) cameras.

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