West Germany's Helios spacecraft - named after the sun god of ancient Greece - was launched from Cape Canaveral.
West Germany's Helios spacecraft - named after the sun god of ancient Greece - was launched from Cape Canaveral. Florida by a United States Titan Centaur rocket on Tuesday (10 December).
It is reported to be on a perfect flight to orbit the sun and has already sailed past the moon's orbit at a sped of 21,000 miles per hour (33,600 kms per hour).
It will increase speed to about 150,000 miles per hour (240,000 kms per hour) to orbit the sun from 28 million miles (45 million kms), the ???losest approach ever made.
Helios is designed to investigate the sun's effect on earth and interplanetary space. A twin Helios will be launched next November for the same purpose, but will orbit closer to the sun - 26 million miles (41,600,000 kms)
The launching is the result of a 10-year U.S. - West Cerman project and is the most elaborate ever undertaken by West Germany, which is paying about 160 U.S. dollars (nearly GBP 61 and-a-half million sterling) of the approximate 240 million dollar (GBP 92 million sterling) cost of the development.