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Ulysses (spacecraft)

The Ulysses spacecraft (named for the Latin translation of Odysseus) was launched in October 1990 from the Space Shuttle Discovery (mission STS-41) as a joint venture of NASA and the European Space Agency.

The spacecraft first flew to Jupiter for a swing-by maneuver which brought it out of the ecliptic plane, in order to investigate the polar regions of the sun. It did explore both the northern and southern solar pole, which gave many unexpected result. Especially the southern magnetic pole was found to be much more dynamical and without any fixed clear magnetic pole. The short version "The sun has no magnetic south pole" is misleading, as the sun is not a magnetic monopole.

Ulysses' mission is extended until at least 2004.

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