NASA’s STEREO-‘s Earth Flyby

Recently, NASA’s STEREO-A spacecraft, part of the Solar Terrestrial Relations Observatory (STEREO) mission, achieved a significant milestone, as it performed its first-ever Earth flyby after nearly 17 years in space.

Solar Terrestrial Relations Observatory (STEREO) Mission

  • STEREO is the third mission in NASA’s Solar Terrestrial Probes program (STP).
  • It was launched in 2006 from Cape Canaveral (Florida, the US) with twin spacecraft, STEREO-A (A stands for Ahead) and STEREO-B (B stands for Behind).
  • The mission objective is to provide the first-ever stereoscopic measurements to study the Sun and the nature of its coronal mass ejections, or CMEs.
  • STEREO-B broke contact with mission control in 2014 after a planned reset (B’s mission officially ended in 2018).