The Interstellar Boundary Explorer (IBEX) mission

D. McComas, F. Allegrini, L. Bartolone, P. Bochsler, M. Bzowski, M. Collier, H. Fahr, H. Fichtner, P. Frisch, H. Funsten, S. Fuselier, G. Gloeckler, M. Gruntman, V. Izmodenov, P. Knappenberger, M. Lee, S. Livi, D. Mitchell, E. Möbius, T. MooreS. Pope, D. Reisenfeld, E. Roelof, H. Ruge, J. Scherrer, N. Schwadron, R. Tyler, M. Wieser, M. Witte, P. Wurz, G. Zank

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


The Interstellar Boundary Explorer (IBEX) is scheduled to launch in June 2008 to make the first global observations of the heliosphere's interaction with the interstellar medium. IBEX achieves these breakthrough observations by traveling outside of the Earth's magnetosphere in a highly elliptical, high-apogee orbit and taking global Energetic Neutral Atoms (ENA) images over energies from ∼10 eV to 6 keV. IBEX's orbit enables heliospheric ENA measurements by providing viewing from outside the earth's relatively bright magnetospheric ENA emissions, and is achieved by adding an IBEX-supplied solid rocket motor on top of a standard Pegasus launch vehicle. IBEX carries two very large-aperture, single-pixel ENA cameras that view perpendicular to the spacecraft's sun-pointed spin axis. Over the course of each six months, the spacecraft spin and progression of the sun-pointing spin axis in inertial space naturally lead to global, all-sky images. McComas et al. (2004) described the IBEX science background, requirements, and measurement strategies; here we summarize IBEX's measurement approach and mission. Additional information on IBEX is also available at

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)689-692
Number of pages4
JournalEuropean Space Agency, (Special Publication) ESA SP
Issue number592
StatePublished - 2005
Externally publishedYes
EventSolar Wind 11/SOHO 16 - Connecting Sun and Heliosphere - Whistler, Canada
Duration: Jun 12 2005Jun 17 2005

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Aerospace Engineering
  • Space and Planetary Science


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