The Suess-Urey mission (return of solar matter to Earth)

Acta Astronaut. 1996 Jul-Aug;39(1-4):229-38. doi: 10.1016/s0094-5765(96)00140-3.


The Suess-Urey (S-U) mission has been proposed as a NASA Discovery mission to return samples of matter from the Sun to the Earth for isotopic and chemical analyses in terrestrial laboratories to provide a major improvement in our knowledge of the average chemical and isotopic composition of the solar system. The S-U spacecraft and sample return capsule will be placed in a halo orbit around the L1 Sun-Earth libration point for two years to collect solar wind ions which implant into large passive collectors made of ultra-pure materials. Constant Spacecraft-Sun-Earth geometries enable simple spin stabilized attitude control, simple passive thermal control, and a fixed medium gain antenna. Low data requirements and the safety of a Sun-pointed spinner, result in extremely low mission operations costs.

MeSH terms

  • Astronomy / instrumentation*
  • Containment of Biohazards
  • Elements
  • Equipment Design
  • Extraterrestrial Environment*
  • Isotopes
  • Radiation Monitoring / instrumentation
  • Research Design
  • Solar System*
  • Space Flight / instrumentation*
  • Spacecraft / instrumentation*
  • Telecommunications


  • Elements
  • Isotopes