SPECIAL REPORT: SOHO in Peril 

On Thursday, June 19, 2003, SPACE.com was the first to report that the Solar and Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO) stopped functioning properly.

Without SOHO to warn of solar storms, disruptions of satellite broadcasts, damage to electric utility grids and pipelines, and breakdowns of communication with polar route airliners could be possible.

This is a collection of SPACE.com's ongoing coverage of the incident and NASA and the European Space Agency's efforts to resolve the problem.



Sun-Watching SOHO Spacecraft Experiencing Serious Technical Problems

19 June 2003 - 08:32 a.m ET

The Sun-observing SOHO spacecraft is experiencing a serious problem that reduces its ability to transmit data to Earth and could threaten the mission's science efforts.


Loss of SOHO Could Gut Space Weather Forecasts

19 June 2003 - 04:25 p.m. ET

The possible interruption of regular daily images sent by the troubled SOHO spacecraft would be a "terrible loss" that would set space weather forecasting back 20 years, a top forecaster said today.

 


Communication Breakdown: How the Loss of SOHO Could Impact Everyday Life

23 June 2003 - 07:00 a.m. ET

Earth's first line of defense against massive communication failures is expected to go offline this week, raising the real possibility that should a giant solar flare occur, the coomunication disruptions could rise sharply.


SOHO Falls Into Eclipse: Spacecraft to Run Silent for Almost Two Weeks

27 June 2003 - 08:45 a.m. ET

An antenna glitch has forced NASA engineers to put the sun-watching SOHO spacecraft to sleep for at least two weeks, causing a data outage that will temporarily suspend its use as a space weather forecasting tool.


 

Sun-Watching SOHO Back On-Line

03 July 2003 - 02:10 p.m. ET

Scientific operation of a critical Sun-watching satellite has been regained after engineers devised patchwork solutions that include making use of more powerful ground radio dishes to reduce data losses. However, the on-going problem with SOHO has put a crimp on using the one-of-a-kind spacecraft as a vital space weather forecasting tool.


SOHO is Back: Officials Confident in Sun-Watching Craft's Future

17 July 2003 - 11:40 a.m. ET

The Sun-watching SOHO spacecraft is back in full operational mode after a partial blackout period that raised serious concerns among space weather forecasters. The probe could survive until 2008, when a replacement probe could be launched SPACE.com has learned.