Nr 28-98 - Paris, 4 August 1998

SOHO spacecraft contacted

Contact has been re-established with the ESA/NASA Solar and Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO) following six weeks of silence.

Signals sent yesterday through the NASA Deep Space Network (DSN) station at Canberra, Australia, were answered at 22:51 GMT in the form of bursts of signal lasting from 2 to 10 seconds. These signals were recorded both by the NASA DSN station and the ESA Perth station. Contact is being maintained through the NASA DSN stations at Goldstone (California), Canberra and Madrid (Spain).

Although the signals are intermittent and do not contain any data information, they show that the spacecraft is still capable of receiving and responding to ground commands. The slow process of regaining control of the spacecraft and restoring it to an operational attitude will commence immediately, with attempts to initiate data transmissions in order to perform an initial assessment of the spacecraft on-board conditions.

Radio contact with SOHO, a joint mission of the European Space Agency and NASA, was interrupted on 25 June (see ESA press releases N°24,25 and 26-98). More information on SOHO, including mission status reports is available on the Internet at or via the new ESA science website:

For further information, please contact:

Franco Bonacina European Space Agency, Headquarters, Paris, France Tel:+33.(0)1.5369.7713

Don Savage NASA Headquarters, Washington D.C. Tel:+1.202.358.1727

Bill Steigerwald NASA Goddard Spaceflight Center, Greenbelt, MD Tel:+1.301.286.50.17

Public Relations Offices