Mission design for the Interstellar Boundary Explorer (IBEX) mission

Michelle Reno, Ryan Tyler, Nathan Schwadron, Dave McComas

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


The Interstellar Boundary Explorer mission was successfully launched on October 19th, 2008. This mission was achieved with a small octagonal spacecraft, launched on a Pegasus rocket. The IBEX spacecraft is a sun-pointed spinner with 2 narrow angle FOV sensors specialized to detect neutral atoms from the solar system's outer boundaries and galactic medium. IBEX used a STAR-27 solid rocket motor and its own onboard propulsion system to boost itself into a high altitude cislunar orbit. The orbit achieved is a high eccentricity orbit, approximately 48 Re apogee by 20,000 Km radius perigee. The authors describe the orbit, attitude, operational, and hardware selections used to meet the science objectives.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationSpaceflight Mechanics 2009 - Advances in the Astronautical Sciences
Subtitle of host publicationProceedings of the 19th AAS/AIAA Space Flight Mechanics Meeting
Number of pages5
StatePublished - 2009
Externally publishedYes
Event19th AAS/AIAA Space Flight Mechanics Meeting - Savannah, GA, United States
Duration: Feb 8 2009Feb 12 2009

Publication series

NameAdvances in the Astronautical Sciences
ISSN (Print)0065-3438


Conference19th AAS/AIAA Space Flight Mechanics Meeting
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CitySavannah, GA

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Aerospace Engineering
  • Space and Planetary Science


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