EUROPEAN SPACE AGENCY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY EUROPEAN SPACE AGENCY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
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Hipparcos satellite. Artist's impression of the Hipparcos astronomical satellite. Hipparcos, or 'High Precision Parallax Collecting Satellite', measured the positions, distance (parallax) and brightnesses of over 120,000 stars with 10-100 times more accuracy than that of ground-based observations. This success is despite the fact that during its launch a booster rocket failed and left the satellite stranded in the wrong orbit. Due to radiation damage, the satellite was shut down on 15 August 1993.
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