CHIPSat (Cosmic Hot Interstellar Plasma Spectrometer Satellite) was a UnEX (University-class Explorer) mission, funded by NASA and designed to carry out an all-sky spectroscopic survey of the extreme ultraviolet background at wavelengths of 9-26 nm (nanometers) with a peak resolution of about 0.5 eV. CHIPS data helped scientists determine the electron temperature, ionization conditions, and cooling mechanisms of the million-degree plasma believed to fill the local interstellar bubble. The majority of the luminosity from diffuse million-degree plasma is expected to emerge in the poorly-explored CHIPSat band, making the mission's data relevant in a wide variety of galactic and extragalactic astrophysical environments. CHIPSat was launched together with another NASA science satellite, ICESat. Satellite operations were terminated in April 2008.


launch date Jan 12, 2003
launch vehicle Delta II 7320-10
launch site Vandenberg Air Force Base
orbit 558 × 584 × 94°
mass 60 kg