The SORCE Mission — January 25, 2003 to December 4, 2003

Author: Gary Rottman
Affiliation: LASP, University of Colorado

The Solar Radiation and Climate Experiment, SORCE, was launched into low-Earth orbit aboard a Pegasus XL rocket on January 25, 2003. Its primary science objective is to make daily observations of the Sun’s total solar irradiance (TSI) and spectral irradiance over the extended wavelength range from soft X-rays to the near infrared. Orbital Sciences Corp. produced the spacecraft, and LASP developed the four scientific instruments and provides Mission Operations, Data Processing and Program Management. The four instruments include the Total Irradiance Monitor, TIM, that measures TSI; the Spectral Irradiance Monitor, SIM that makes observations from 300 nm to 2500 nm; the Solar Stellar Irradiance Comparison Experiment, SOLSTICE, that observes the ultraviolet irradiance from 115 to 320 nm; and the XUV Photometer System that observes primarily in the soft X-ray spectral region. All systems have preformed flawlessly since launch and we anticipate at least another four years of solar observations.