Menu: Skip within this page



Please provide feedback on the SBN website.

Mission Websites

Here we list links to the primary mission website as well as pages about the mission on other sites such as the NSSDC, NASA portal, etc.

International Cometary Explorer (ICE)

This spacecraft was launched in 1978 as the International Sun-Earth Explorer 3 (ISEE), third in a series of Explorer-class missions to investigate details of the interactions between the Sun (and solar wind) and the Earth's magnetosphere. The spacecraft carried instruments to measure plasmas, energetic particles, waves and fields. This last mission in the series was launched into a heliocentric orbit at the L1 Lagrangian libration point 235 Earth radii on the sunward side of Earth.

In 1982 the spacecraft was renamed the International Cometary Explorer (ICE) and, through a complex series of Earth and Moon flybys, was sent on a trajectory to intercept comet 21P/Giacobini-Zinner. The primary objective of the ICE mission was to study the interaction between the solar wind and the cometary atmosphere. The ICE made particle, field and plasma measurements as it passed through the plasma tail of 21P/Giacobini-Zinner, then continued on to pass between the Sun and comet 1P/Halley in late March 1986 as other missions (Giotto, VEGA, Planet-A, MS-T5) were also observing that comet. Spacecraft operations were terminated in May 1997.

The SBN leads the effort to restore and archive data from the ICE mission into the PDS.


Data Sets


Other Target Observations

Related Datasets

Use the Small Bodies Data Ferret to find other datasets for this mission/target.