In this historical photo from the U.S. space agency, NASA's International Sun-Earth Explorer C (ISEE C) was undergoing testing and evaluation inside Goddard's dynamic test chamber when this photo was taken on Nov. 6, 1976. Working inside a dynamic test chamber, Goddard engineers wear protective "clean room" clothing to prevent microscopic dust particles from damaging the sophisticated instrumentation.
NASA launched the 16-sided polyhedron, which weighed 1,032 lbs. (469 kg.), from Cape Canaveral, Florida, on August 12, 1978. From its halo orbit 932,000 miles (1.5 million km.) from Earth, the satellite monitored the characteristics of solar phenomena about one hour before its companion satellites-ISEE-A and ISEE-B-observed the same phenomena from a much closer near-Earth orbit.
The correlated measurements supported the work of 117 scientific investigators who were trying to get a better understanding of how the Sun controls Earth's near-space environment. The scientists represented 35 universities in 10 nations
Each weekday, SPACE.com looks back at the history of spaceflight through photos (archive).