Concept

Helios (spacecraft)

Summary
Helios-A and Helios-B (after launch renamed Helios 1 and Helios 2) are a pair of probes that were launched into heliocentric orbit to study solar processes. As a joint venture between German Aerospace Center (DLR) and NASA, the probes were launched from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida, on December 10, 1974, and January 15, 1976, respectively. The Helios project set a maximum speed record for spacecraft of . Helios-B performed the closest flyby of the Sun of any spacecraft until that time. The probes are no longer functional, but as of 2023 remain in elliptical orbits around the Sun. Construction The Helios project was a joint venture of West Germany's space agency DLR (70 percent share) and NASA (30 percent share). As built by the main contractor, Messerschmitt-Bölkow-Blohm, they were the first space probes built outside the United States and the Soviet Union to leave Earth orbit. Structure
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