NASA Kills Ulysses Spacecraft After 18 years of Studying the Sun

You thought the leaden winter would bring you down forever / But you rode upon a steamer to the violence of the Sun.

After 18 years of operation, NASA has switched off Ulysses, the space probe designed to study the properties of solar wind, the heliosphere magnetic field, and the solar radio bursts that can greatly affect our gadgets, telecommunications, and every electronic system here on planet Earth. It was the first object to see and study our Sun's poles.

But Ulysses it's not dead yet, at least in spirit. If it gets lucky, it may depart to reach other stars: According to NASA, if it gets close enough to a Jovian moon, Ulysses will jump into a new course that will lead the brave probe into deep space. That certainly would be the perfect destination for a spacecraft that has provided with such an amazing amount of data about our home star. So long, Ulysses, and please say hello to Aphrodite if you see her riding her crimson shell. [NASA]