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31-Jan-02 | Farewell, EUVE

NASA and space enthusiasts today bade farewell to EUVE, the Extreme Ultraviolet Explorer. The 7,000-pound spacecraft performed an uncontrolled reentry at about 0415 UTC on 31 January 2002, disintegrating over central Egypt. Though some of its larger steel and titanium components were expected to survive atmospheric heating, no ground impacts have been reported as yet. (NASA Press Release, 31-Jan-01)

EUVE was launched in 1992 aboard Delta flight 210, the first member of NASA’s Explorer program to travel aboard a Delta II. During its initial operational phase, it mapped the entire sky in the previously-unseen extreme ultraviolet (70 -760 Å) spectrum. EUVE then spent eight years as a platform for guest observations, surviving well beyond its design lifetime and yielding a vast wealth of information. Scientific publications based on EUVE data now number in the hundreds, with many more to come. The program was terminated in December 2000 due to NASA concerns about budget and diminishing science returns, and on 2 February 2001, EUVE was switched off.


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