SOHO was launched on December 2, 1995. The SOHO spacecraft was built in Europe by an industry team led by prime contractor Matra Marconi Space (now EADS Astrium) under overall management by ESA. The twelve instruments on board SOHO were provided by European and American scientists. Nine of the international instrument consortia are led by European Principal Investigators (PI's), three by PI's from the US. Large engineering teams and more than 200 co-investigators from many institutions supported the PI's in the development of the instruments and in the preparation of their operations and data analysis. NASA was responsible for the launch and is now responsible for mission operations. Large radio dishes around the world which form NASA's Deep Space Network are used for data downlink and commanding. Mission control is based at Goddard Space Flight Center in Maryland.
Further information about SOHO:
SOHO EIT 195
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SOHO moves around the Sun in step with the Earth, by slowly orbiting around the First Lagrangian Point (L1), where the combined gravity of the Earth and Sun keep SOHO in an orbit locked to the Earth-Sun line. The L1 point is approximately 1.5 million kilometers away from Earth (about four times the distance of the Moon), in the direction of the Sun. There, SOHO enjoys an uninterrupted view of our daylight star. All previous solar observatories have orbited the Earth, from where their observations were periodically interrupted as our planet `eclipsed' the Sun.
SOHO LASCO C2
SOHO ERNE Protons
SOHO CELIAS Solar Wind
SOHO MDI Magnetogram
SOHO LASCO C3
SOHO CELIAS SPE Monitor
SOHO CELIAS SEM EUV and X-Ray Monitor