TRACE, carried a 30-cm extreme ultraviolet imaging telescope for studies of the sun. Lockheed was the lead contractor while the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory made the telescope mirrors. TRACE had a field of view of 8.5 arcmin and a resolution of 1 arcsecond. TRACE was placed in a sun-synchronous orbit, enabling it to make continuous observation of the sun.
NASA's third Small Explorer, the Transition Region and Coronal Explorer (TRACE), was successfully launched by an Orbital Pegasus XL. The L-1011 carrier aircraft took off from Vandenberg and dropped the Pegasus over the Pacific Ocean. TRACE, a project led by Lockheed's solar physics group, carried a 30-cm extreme ultraviolet imaging telescope which will study the Sun. The telescope mirrors were made by the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory. TRACE had an 8.5 arcmin field of view and 1 arcsecond resolution.