A composite of four different images showing the HESSI satellite various angles.

RHESSI involved a single instrument consisting of an imaging system mounted in a simple Sun-pointed, spin-stabilized spacecraft.  RHESSI investigated the physics of particle acceleration and energy released in solar flares. Observations were made of X-rays and Gamma-rays with energies from 3 keV to 20 MeV with an unprecedented combination of high-resolution imaging and spectroscopy.  

RHESSI was launched aboard a Pegasus XL rocket, which was released from the bottom of an L-1011 plane and placed into a 600 km circular orbit inclined at 38 degrees with respect to the equator from Kennedy Space Center in Florida. Project Manager Peter Harvey explains more about how RHESSI achieved orbit in a short pre-launch web-video clip which includes photos and animations of both the spacecraft and rocket. 

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The L-1011 plane.The Pegasus XL rocket that carried RHESSI into orbit.

Last updated 01/29/2010 © UC Regents