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Astronomy
Category of spacecraft.



Subtopics

IRS-1 India's first space astronomy observatory. The satellite carried near and far ultraviolet telescopes, a large X-ray proportional counter array, a soft-X-ray imaging telescope, a hard X-ray coded mask telescope, and a monitor to detect flaring X-ray sources.

Herschel Astronomy, far infra-red and sub-mm wave satellite built by Alcatel Space Systems (prime), Astrium GmbH, Alenia Spazio for ESA, Europe. Launched 2009.

Kepler NEED WRITEUP Astrometry satellite built by Ball Aerospace / JPL for NASA, USA. Launched 2009.

Multi-Mission Microsatellite Bus Near Earth Object Surveillance Satellite, joint Canadian Space Agency/DRDC mission to survey asteroids and space debris, also with a 0.15m telescope.

Navigator bus Satellite bus developed by Lavochkin 2000-2010 for use by a variety of earth-resource and scientific satellites. Operational, Dry mass 850 kg, propellant up to 540 kg, and payload up to 2600 kg. Solar panels provided 600-1100 watts maximum over a five-year designed operational life. Stabilized to within 2.5 deg by a hydrazine monopropellant system.

NEXTAR NX-300L High resolution imaging satellite developed by NEC and managed by Japan Space Systems (formerly USEF, part of the Ministry of Trade and Industry) rather than by the main Japanese space agency JAXA. The ASNARO had 0.5m resolution on a 10 km nadir swath width.

Planck Space observatory designed to observe the fine detail of the cosmic microwave background. Planck reached the Earth-Sun L2 Lagrangian point in July 2009, and had successfully completed a second all-sky survey by February 2010. Cosmic Background satellite built by Alcatel Space Systems (prime), Astrium GmbH, Alenia Spazio for ESA, Europe. Launched 2009.

Toronto GNB University of Tornto Generic Nanosatellite bus.

Tsubame 'Swallow', an astronomy satellite from the Tokyo Institute of Technology and carried a hard X-ray polarimeter to study the polarization of gamma ray bursts. Sun synchronous orbit; 1055 GMT local time of the descending node. Astronomy, X-ray satellite for Tokyo Institute of Technology, Tokyo University of Science and JAXA, Japan. Launched 2014.

Pioneer 5 American solar satellite. Pioneer 5 was designed to provide the first map of the interplanetary magnetic field. The vehicle functioned for a record 106 days, and communicated with Earth from a record distance of 36.2 million km.

P-14 American solar satellite. Magnetic field data. Research satellite built by NASA, Goddard Space Flight Center for NASA, USA. Launched 1961.

S-15 American solar satellite. Explorer 11. Gamma ray data.

EPE American solar satellite. Radiation and solar wind data. Research satellite operated by NASA, USA. Launched 1961 - 1964.

OSO American solar satellite. The Orbiting Solar Observatories, developed for NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center, were designed primarily as stabilized platforms for solar-oriented scientific instruments. Solar observatory satellite built by Ball Aerospace for NASA, USA. Launched 1962 - 1969.

N-4 Russian cosmic ray astronomy satellite. Designated Proton 1 after launch; investigated ultra-high-energy cosmic particles.

GEOS American solar satellite. The GEOS spacecraft were gravity-gradient-stabilized, solar-cell powered satellites designed exclusively for geodetic studies. Research satellite operated by NASA, USA. Launched 1965 - 1968.

IQSY American solar satellite. Explorer 30. Solar radiation data.

Pioneer 6-7-8-9-E American solar satellite. Pioneers 6, 7, 8, and 9 were created to make the first detailed, comprehensive measurements of the solar wind, solar magnetic field and cosmic rays. Solar lander built by TRW for NASA, USA. Launched 1965 - 1969.

OAO American visible astronomy satellite. Astronomy, UV satellite built by Grumman Aerospace Corp. for NASA, USA. Launched 1966.

DS-U3-S Ukrainian solar satellite. Specialized orbital solar observatory for measuring solar rays in multiple spectral zones. Astronomy, solar satellite built by Yuzhnoye, Russia. Launched 1967 - 1968.

Solrad American series of satellites sponsored by the US Navy in a program to continuously monitor the Sun. SOLRAD was Satellite Techniques' first major project and NRL's first post-Vanguard satellite.

RAE American radio astronomy satellite. Radio Astronomy satellite operated by NASA, USA. Launched 1968.

N-6 Russian cosmic ray astronomy satellite. Proton 4. Cosmic ray measurements. Study of the nature of high and ultra-high energy cosmic rays and their interaction with atomic nuclei. Mass announced at time of launch 17,000 kg.

DS-U2-GF Ukrainian solar satellite. Cosmos 262. Conducted heliophysical studies. Astronomy, Solar satellite built by Yuzhnoye, Russia. Launched 1968. Used DS Bus.

Aelita satellite Russian infrared astronomy satellite. Cancelled 1982. The Aelita infrared astronomical telescope spacecraft was derived from the Soyuz manned spacecraft and had an unusually long gestation.

SAS Series of American solar orbiting satellites for x-ray and gamma astronomy.

DS-U2-MT Ukrainian gamma ray astronomy satellite. Cosmos 461. Measured micrometeoroid impacts and gamma rays. Astronomy, X-ray, Gamma satellite built by Yuzhnoye, Russia. Launched 1971. Used DS Bus.

Hawkeye American solar satellite. Explorer 52. Solar wind experiments. Follow-on to Injun.

ANS Dutch UV/x-rary astronomy satellite. Astronomical Netherlands Satellite; lower than planned orbit. Astronomy (UV, X-ray) satellite built by ICANS, Netherlands. Launched 1974.

Helios German solar satellite. Solar probe. Launched by the United States and the Federal Republic of Germany. Heliocentric orbit 190 days, 0.309 x 0.985 AU x 0 deg. Solar lander built by Messerschmitt-B÷lkow-Blohm (MBB) for NASA / BMF, Germany. Launched 1974 - 1976.

AUOS Ukrainian spacecraft bus. Standardized bus for low earth orbit scientific studies and testing of new systems and components of satellite under space flight conditions. Satellite bus built by Yuzhnoe, Ukraine.

HEAO American x-ray astronomy satellite. The 3 satellites of the High Energy Astronomical Observatory program surveyed the celestial sphere for X-ray sources and gamma and cosmic ray phenomena. Astronomy, X-Ray, Gamma satellite built by TRW for NASA, USA. Launched 1977. Used HEAO Bus.

IUE American ultraviolet astronomy satellite. Astronomy (UV) satellite built by NASA GSFC for NASA / ESA, USA. Launched 1978.

Astrofizika Russian earth geodetic satellite. Cosmos 1066. Based on the Meteor-1 bus but carried special optical instruments for the observation of lasers on Earth. Technology satellite built by VNIIEM, International. Launched 1978. Used Meteor Bus.

SMM American solar satellite. The Solar Maximum Mission (SMM) was intended primarily to study solar flares and related phenomena. Solar observatory satellite built by Fairchild for NASA, USA. Launched 1980. Used the MMS bus.

Astro Japanese x-ray astronomy satellite. X-ray experiments. Launching organization: ISAS (Institute of Space and Astronautical Science).

SME American solar satellite. The Solar Mesosphere Explorer satellite was developed to investigate the processes that create and destroy ozone in the Earth's upper atmosphere. Research satellite built by Ball Aerospace for NASA, USA. Launched 1981.

IRAS Dutch-American-UK infrared astronomy satellite. All-sky survey of astronomical IR bodies. Astronomy, Infra-Red satellite operated by NASA, USA. Launched 1983.

Astron Russian x-ray astronomy satellite. Astrophysics satellite based on the Venera 4V-2 bus design. Electrophysical research of galactic and extragalactic sources of ultraviolet ray and X-ray emission. Astronomy, UV satellite, Russia. Launched 1983. Used Venera-Bus.

Exosat European x-ray astronomy satellite. EXOSAT was a space research satellite of the European Space Agency. Astronomy, X-Ray satellite built by MBB (prime) for ESA, Europe. Launched 1983.

SPAS American military strategic defense satellite.

Spartan American solar satellite. The Spartan series consists of low-cost, Shuttle-launched, short-duration, sounding-rocket-type payloads. The payloads were retrievable and reusable with a turnaround time of 6 to 9 months. Spartan operated as an autonomous sub-satellite, and the data was stored on an internal tape recorder. Pointing and stabilization were achieved by an attitude control system capable of three-axis stabilized pointing to any target within +/- 3 arc-minutes. Shuttle retrievable satellite operated by NASA  Goddard, USA. Launched 1985.

ISS Space Telescope American visible astronomy satellite. Study 1988. The Space Station's free-flying unmanned platforms were all deleted in 1987-90 to compensate for the budget cuts. However, some of them may yet be reintroduced in the 21st century.

Hipparcos European visible astronomy satellite. Scientific satellite for astrometry. Didn't reach GEO due to AKM failure; measured star positions. Frequency plan 2054.25 /2241 MHz. Launch time 2325:53 UT. Designator ESA/89/03. Astrometry satellite built by Matra Marconi Space (satellite prime, payload), Alenia Spazio (co-prime: spacecraft procurement) for ESA, Europe. Launched 1989.

COBE American infrared astronomy satellite. Cosmology satellite built by NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Ball Aerospace for NASA, USA. Launched 1989.

Granat Russian x-ray astronomy satellite. Granat was a Lavochkin design with the mission of making gamma ray observations in energy ranges of 3 to 200 keV. Astronomy, X-Ray, Gamma satellite, Russia. Launched 1989. Used Venera-Bus.

HST American visible astronomy satellite. The Hubble Space Telescope was designed to provide a space telescope with an order of magnitude better resolution than ground-based instruments. Astronomy satellite built by Lockheed for NASA, ESA, Europe. Launched 1990.

ROSAT German x-ray astronomy satellite. West German extreme UV, X-ray telescope; all-sky survey. Astronomy, X-Ray satellite built by Dornier for DARA, NASA, Germany. Launched 1990.

Gamma Russian gamma ray astronomy satellite. The Gamma USSR/France gamma/x-ray astronomical telescope spacecraft was derived from the Soyuz manned spacecraft and had an unusually long gestation. Astronomy, Gamma satellite, Russia. Launched 1990. Used Soyuz-Bus.

Ulysses European solar satellite. Ulysses was a joint NASA / ESA mission designed to study the polar regions of the Sun. Solar lander built by Dornier (prime) for ESA, NASA, Europe. Launched 1990.

KRT-25 Radio Telescope Russian radio astronomy satellite. Study 1990. In collaboration with the European Space Agency, a 25 m diameter space radio telescope was studied for launch by Energia in 2001.

GRO American gamma ray astronomy satellite. Compton Observatory. The Compton Gamma Ray Observatory (CGRO) was the gamma-ray element of NASA's Great Observatories program . Astronomy, Gamma rays satellite built by TRW (spacecraft) for NASA, USA. Launched 1991.

IBSS American satellite. Sensor technology test; retrieved 5/2/91. SDI experiments, retrievable satellite satellite built by Daimler Chrysler Aerospace for SDIO, USA. Launched 1991.

SARA French radio astronomy satellite to study emissions from Jupiter. Astronomy, radio satellite for ESIEESPACE, France. Launched 1991.

EUVE American ultraviolet astronomy satellite. The EUVE Extreme Ultra-Violet Explorer mission mapped space in the 70- to 760-angstrom portion of the spectrum and conducted detailed ultraviolet examinations of selected celestial targets. Astronomy, extreme UV satellite built by Fairchild (Bus), NASA Goddard Space Flight Center (Payload) for NASA, USA. Launched 1992. Used the MMS with exchangeable payload module bus.

ALEXIS American x-ray astronomy satellite. ALEXIS was a small spacecraft built for the Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL). Its mission was to provide high resolution maps of low-energy astronomical x-ray sources. Experimental satellite built by AeroAstro for USAF STP (Space Test Program), USA. Launched 1993.

Microstar American communications technology satellite. Small satellite bus, specially designed for multiple launch by Pegasus or Taurus family launch vehicles.

ISO European infrared astronomy satellite. Infrared astrophysics. Astronomy, Infra-Red satellite built by Aerospatiale (prime), DASA (payload) for ESA, Europe. Launched 1995.

SOHO European solar satellite. SOHO was a component of the Collaborative Solar-Terrestrial Research (COSTR) Program of the International Solar Terrestrial Physics (ISTP) Program. Solar Observatory satellite built by Matra Marconi Space for ESA, NASA, Europe. Launched 1995.

XTE American x-ray astronomy satellite. X-ray Timing Explorer; X-ray astronomy. Astronomy, X-ray satellite for NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, USA. Launched 1995.

Konus-A Russian gamma ray astronomy satellite. Study 1995. The Konus-A scientific satellite was developed in 1995-1997 for the Russian Academy of Science and flown as Cosmos 2326.

SAX Italian x-ray astronomy satellite. Beppo SAX. Satellite per Astronomia a raggi X; X-ray celestial observatory Astronomy, X-Ray satellite built by Alenia Spazio for ASI, Italy. Launched 1996.

HETE American gamma ray astronomy satellite. The High Energy Transient Experiment (HETE) was an international mission led by The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). Gamma ray astronomy satellite built by MIT, AeroAstro (Bus) for NASA, USA. Launched 1996 - 2000. Used HETE-Bus.

ORFEUS American ultraviolet astronomy satellite. ORFEUS was a German astronomical satellite. It was deployed by the shuttle remote manipulating system arm and retrieved after six days of free flight.

Haruka Japanese radio astronomy satellite. The Muses B satellite was renamed 'Haruka', meaning 'Far-away', after launch. It formed the space segment of the VLBI Space Observatory Program.

TRACE American solar satellite. 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. Solar observatory satellite built by NASA Goddard Space Flight Center for NASA, USA. Launched 1998.

SWAS American infrared astronomy satellite. SWAS, the Submillimeter Wave Astronomy Satellite, had a 0.6m telescope with a 490 to 550 GHz submillimeter receiver and an acousto-optical spectrometer.

WIRE American infrared astronomy satellite. WIRE was designed to survey the celestial sky in the infrared bands and build on the results of the IRAS mission. Astronomy, Infra-red satellite built by NASA Goddard Space Flight Center (Bus); Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) (Instrument) for NASA, USA. Launched 1999.

ABRIXAS German x-ray astronomy satellite. X-ray astronomy satellite with the mission to carry out an all-sky survey in the 1-10 keV band with 30 arc second resolution. Astronomy, X-Ray satellite built by OHB-System for DLR (DARA), Germany. Launched 1999.

FUSE American ultraviolet astronomy satellite. FUSE carried four 0.35m far ultraviolet telescopes each with an ultraviolet high resolution spectrograph. Astronomy, Far-UV spectroscopy satellite built by Orbital Sciences Corporation (OSC) (Bus), Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory (APL) (Instrument) for NASA, USA. Launched 1999. Used the MidStar. Launched 1999.

Chandra American x-ray astronomy satellite. Astronomy, X-Ray satellite built by TRW for NASA, USA. Launched 1999.

XMM European x-ray astronomy satellite. ESA's X-ray Multi-Mirror space observatory was the biggest science satellite ever built in Europe. The spacecraft's X-ray optics covered a spectral range of 1-120 nanometers (12keV-0.1keV). Astronomy, X-Ray satellite built by Daimler Chrysler Aerospace Dornier Satellitensysteme for ESA, Europe. Launched 1999.

ASTRO E Japanese x-ray astronomy satellite. ASTRO-E was to be fifth in a series of Japanese astronomy satellites devoted to observations of celestial X-ray sources. Astronomy, X-Ray satellite operated by ISAS, NASA, Japan. Launched 2000 - 2005.

SA-200 The Spectrum Astro SA-200 satellite bus provided a flexible platform for satellites launched by the Pegasus booster.he Spectrum Astro SA-200 satellite bus provided a flexible platform for satellites launched by the Pegasus booster.

Odin Swedish infrared astronomy satellite. Odin was a Swedish dual disciplinary (astrophysics and atmospheric science) spacecraft. The 250 kg, 340 W spacecraft had a pointing accuracy of 15 arc sec and a data storage capacity of 100 MB. Science, astronomy and aeronomy satellite for SSC, Sweden. Launched 2001. Used Freja-C bus, 4 solar arrays, sunshade, 3-axis stabilzed.

MAP American infrared astronomy satellite. NASA's Microwave Anisotropy Probe was placed at the L2 Earth-Moon Lagrangian point 1.5 million km from Earth to observe the dark extragalactic sky with differential microwave radiometers using two 1.5-meter reflectors working at 22 to 90 GHz. Research (Cosmology) satellite built by NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Swales Aerospace for NASA, USA. Launched 2001.

Genesis American solar satellite. Genesis was part of NASA's Discovery program. Its objective was to fly to the Earth-Sun L1 point and spend two years collecting samples of the solar wind. Solar wind sample return satellite built by Lockheed Martin Astronautics for NASA, USA. Launched 2001.

Simplesat American visible astronomy satellite. Simplesat was intended to test methods for building cheap astronomical satellites and controlling them from a inexpensive ground stations. Astronomy, technology satellite for NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, USA. Launched 2001.

TIMED American solar satellite. TIMED was the first NASA Solar Terrestrial Probe, operated by Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Lab to study the thermosphere, mesosphere and lower ionosphere. Science, Atmosphere satellite built by Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory (APL) for NASA, USA. Launched 2001.

HESSI American solar satellite. HESSI, the sixth Small Explorer, was a Spectrum Astro satellite derived from the SA-200S design. It carried a rotating modulation collimator transform telescope. Solar observatory satellite built by Spectrum Astro for NASA, USA. Launched 2002. Used the SA-200B (modified), spin stabilized bus.

WST American visible astronomy satellite. Study 2002. 6 m deep space telescope slated to replace the Hubble Space Telescope from 2010.

Integral European gamma ray astronomy satellite. INTEGRAL (INTErnational Gamma Ray Astrophysics Laboratory) was a European (ESA) astrophysics satellite. The four-ton (with fuel) cylindrical (5 m height and 3. Astronomy, Gamma satellite built by Alenia Spazio for ESA, Europe. Launched 2002.

CHIPSat American ultraviolet astronomy satellite. NASA's Cosmic Hot Interstellar Plasma Spectrometer (CHIPS) mission used the CHIPSat bus. Astronomy, EUV spectroscopy satellite built by SpaceDev for University of California, Berkeley, Space Sciences Laboratory, NASA funded, USA. Launched 2003. Used BD-II Bus.

SORCE American solar satellite. Earth science satellite built by Orbital Sciences Corporation (OSC) for NASA, USA. Launched 2003. Used the LEOStar-2 bus.

Galex American ultraviolet astronomy satellite. The Galaxy Evolution Explorer (GALEX) was an orbiting space telescope that was to observe galaxies in ultraviolet wavelengths. Astronomy, UV satellite built by Orbital Sciences Corporation (OSC) for NASA, USA. Launched 2003. Used the LEOStar-2 bus.

Cubesat American low-cost nanosatellite bus. Used in dozens of launches.

Most Canadian visible astronomy satellite. MOST was a suitcase-sized microsatellite designed to probe stars and extrasolar planets by measuring tiny light variations undetectable from Earth. Astronomy satellite built by Dynacon Enterprises Ltd. for CSA, Canada. Launched 2003.

SIRTF American infrared astronomy satellite. The SIRTF (Space Infrared Telescope Facility) was planned as a 1 meter class, cryogenically cooled space telescope to be operated as an observatory for infrared astronomy. Astronomy, Infra-Red satellite built by Lockheed Martin (Bus), Ball Aerospace (Telescope) for NASA, USA. Launched 2003.

STSat South Korean technology satellite, built by KAIST. Technology, astronomy satellite for KAIST, South Korea. Launched 2003.

SpaceDev ILO American radio astronomy satellite. Study 2003. Unmanned lunar radio astronomy observatory concept, designed to be landed on the South Pole.

Gravity Probe-B American earth geodetic satellite. Gravity Probe B. Gravity Probe B was an experiment developed by NASA and Stanford University to test two unverified predictions of Albert Einstein's general theory of relativity.

Swift American gamma ray astronomy satellite. Swift was a first-of-its-kind multi-wavelength observatory dedicated to the study of gamma-ray burst (GRB) science. Astronomy, Gamma Rays satellite built by Spectrum Astro for NASA, USA. Launched 2004. Used the SA-200LL bus.

Myriade Micro-satellite product line developed jointly by EADS Astrium and the French Space Agency CNES beginning in 1998.

ASCA Japanese x-ray astronomy satellite. Study 2005. The Advanced Satellite for Cosmology and Astrophysics was a high throughput spectroscopic observatory.

Akari Japanese infrared astronomy satellite. Astro F (Akari). Carried a 0.67m-diameter liquid-helium-cooled infrared telescope with detectors ranging from the near infrared to 60 and 170 micron channels in the far IR.

Hinode Japanese solar satellite. Solar satellite with a large optical telescope and an X-ray telescope built by the Smithsonian Observatory.

Stereo American solar satellite. Two launched on 2006.10.26 (Stereo Ahead) and (Stereo Behind). Built by Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory (APL) for NASA, USA. Launched 2006.

Corot French visible astronomy satellite. Astronomy satellite built by Alcatel Space for CNES, ESA, France. Launched 2006. Used the Proteus Bus bus.

RS-300 American technology satellite bus. Ball Aerospace's RS-300 was a small, low-cost spacecraft aimed at cost-capped principle investigator led missions for Earth or space science.

AGILE Italian gamma ray astronomy satellite. The Italian gamma-ray observatory satellite (Astrorivelatore Gamma ad Imagini Leggero) carried the GRID 0. Astronomy, Gamma satellite built by Carlo Gavazzi Space SpA for ASI, Italy. Launched 2007. Used MITA bus.

AAUSat Danish gamma ray astronomy satellite. One launch, 2008.04.28. University of Aalborg nanosat; carried a gamma ray burst detector for the Danish National Space Center.

GLAST American gamma ray astronomy satellite. One launch, 2008.06.11, Fermi Gamma Ray Space Telescope. Gamma-ray Large Area Space Telescope; renamed Fermi GST after launch. Astronomy, Gamma rays satellite built by Spectrum Astro for NASA, USA. Launched 2008. Used the SA-200HP bus.

SDO NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory mission was to observe the Sun for a five year period from an inclined geosynchronous orbit. From there the satellite could constantly download data to the White Sands ground station, while minimizing the time spent in Earth's shadow. The satellite's three instruments measured the extreme ultraviolet radiation output, returning up to 150 million bits of data per second. Solar Observatory satellite for NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, USA. Launched 2010.

IRIS Interface Region Imaging Spectrograph NASA Small Explorer program; the IRIS Interface Region Imaging Spectrograph was designed to obtain high resolution (0.3 arcseconds) high cadence (1 second intervals) imaging and spectra of the sun with its 20-cm telescope, in two far-UV bands (1332-1358A, 1380-1406A) and one near-UV band (2785-2835A). Air dropped in Point Mugu Drop Zone. Particle imaging satellite built by Lockheed Martin Space Systems Advanced Technology Center (ATC) for NASA, USA. Launched 2013.

Gaia Astrometry satellite operated by ESA, Europe. Launched 2013.

Spectrum-X Russian x-ray astronomy satellite.

Family: Solar.

1960 March 11 - . 13:00 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC17A. LV Family: Thor. Launch Vehicle: Thor Able IV.
  • Pioneer 5 - . Payload: Pioneer P 2 / Able 6. Mass: 43 kg (94 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: NASA. Program: Pioneer. Class: Astronomy. Type: Solar satellite. Spacecraft: Pioneer 5. USAF Sat Cat: 27 . COSPAR: 1960-Alpha-1.

    An Air Force Thor/Able IV booster launched the NASA Pioneer V spacecraft on its journey to Venus. The satellite measured radiation and magnetic fields between Earth and Venus. The last scientific measurements were transmitted back to Earth on 26 June, three and one-half months after launch, from almost 22.5 million miles in space. Pioneer V was by far the most successful space probe yet launched. AFBMD and Space Technology Laboratories managed the Pioneer V satellite, payload, and booster for NASA and provided launch services at Cape Canaveral. Solar research. Solar Orbit (Heliocentric). Spacecraft engaged in research and exploration of the upper atmosphere or outer space (US Cat B).


1961 February 25 - . 00:13 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC26B. LV Family: Jupiter. Launch Vehicle: Juno II. FAILURE: Third Stage failed to ignite.. Failed Stage: 3.
  • Explorer - . Payload: S-45. Mass: 34 kg (74 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: NASA. Program: Explorer. Class: Astronomy. Type: Solar satellite. Spacecraft Bus: P. Spacecraft: P-14. Decay Date: 1961-02-24 .

1961 March 25 - . 15:17 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC17A. LV Family: Thor. Launch Vehicle: Thor Delta.
  • Explorer 10 - . Payload: P-14. Mass: 35 kg (77 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: NASA. Program: Explorer. Class: Astronomy. Type: Solar satellite. Spacecraft Bus: P. Spacecraft: P-14. Decay Date: 1961-06-30 . USAF Sat Cat: 98 . COSPAR: 1961-Kappa-1. Apogee: 181,100 km (112,500 mi). Perigee: 221 km (137 mi). Inclination: 33.0000 deg. Period: 5,013.90 min. Magnetic field data. Decay date suspect Spacecraft engaged in research and exploration of the upper atmosphere or outer space (US Cat B)..

1961 April 27 - . 14:16 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC26B. LV Family: Jupiter. Launch Vehicle: Juno II.
  • Explorer 11 - . Payload: S-15. Mass: 37 kg (81 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: NASA. Program: Explorer. Class: Astronomy. Type: Solar satellite. Spacecraft: S-15. USAF Sat Cat: 107 . COSPAR: 1961-Nu-1. Apogee: 1,458 km (905 mi). Perigee: 480 km (290 mi). Inclination: 28.8000 deg. Period: 104.50 min. Gamma ray data. Spacecraft engaged in research and exploration of the upper atmosphere or outer space (US Cat B). .

1961 May 24 - . 19:48 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC26B. LV Family: Jupiter. Launch Vehicle: Juno II. FAILURE: Second Stage failed to ignite.. Failed Stage: 2.
  • Explorer S-45A - . Payload: S-45A. Mass: 33 kg (72 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: NASA. Program: Explorer. Class: Astronomy. Type: Solar satellite. Spacecraft Bus: P. Spacecraft: P-14. Decay Date: 1961-05-24 .

1961 August 16 - . 03:21 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC17A. LV Family: Thor. Launch Vehicle: Thor Delta.
  • Explorer 12 - . Payload: EPE A (S-3). Mass: 38 kg (83 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: NASA. Program: Explorer. Class: Astronomy. Type: Solar satellite. Spacecraft: EPE. Decay Date: 1963-08-31 . USAF Sat Cat: 170 . COSPAR: 1961-Upsilon-1. Apogee: 76,620 km (47,600 mi). Perigee: 790 km (490 mi). Inclination: 33.4000 deg. Period: 1,587.30 min. Radiation and solar wind data. Spacecraft engaged in research and exploration of the upper atmosphere or outer space (US Cat B). .

1962 March 7 - . 16:06 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC17A. LV Family: Thor. Launch Vehicle: Thor Delta.
  • OSO 1 - . Payload: OSO A (S-16). Mass: 208 kg (458 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: NASA. Class: Astronomy. Type: Solar satellite. Spacecraft: OSO. Decay Date: 1981-10-08 . USAF Sat Cat: 255 . COSPAR: 1962-Zeta-1. Apogee: 553 km (343 mi). Perigee: 522 km (324 mi). Inclination: 32.8000 deg. Period: 95.30 min. Orbiting Solar Observatory; solar flare observations. Spacecraft engaged in research and exploration of the upper atmosphere or outer space (US Cat B). .

1962 October 2 - . 22:11 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC17B. LV Family: Thor. Launch Vehicle: Thor Delta A.
  • Explorer 14 - . Payload: EPE B (S-3A). Mass: 40 kg (88 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: NASA. Program: Explorer. Class: Astronomy. Type: Solar satellite. Spacecraft: EPE. Decay Date: 1964-12-31 . USAF Sat Cat: 432 . COSPAR: 1962-B-Gamma-1. Apogee: 96,229 km (59,793 mi). Perigee: 2,558 km (1,589 mi). Inclination: 42.3000 deg. Period: 2,184.60 min. Magnetosphere studies. Spacecraft engaged in research and exploration of the upper atmosphere or outer space (US Cat B). .

1962 October 27 - . 23:15 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC17B. LV Family: Thor. Launch Vehicle: Thor Delta A.
  • Explorer 15 - . Payload: EPE C (S-3C SERB). Mass: 45 kg (99 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: NASA. Program: Explorer. Class: Astronomy. Type: Solar satellite. Spacecraft: EPE. Decay Date: 1978-12-19 . USAF Sat Cat: 445 . COSPAR: 1962-B-Lambda-1. Apogee: 17,610 km (10,940 mi). Perigee: 306 km (190 mi). Inclination: 17.9000 deg. Period: 314.70 min. Radiation decay data. Spacecraft engaged in research and exploration of the upper atmosphere or outer space (US Cat B). .

1964 December 21 - . 09:00 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC17A. LV Family: Thor. Launch Vehicle: Thor Delta C.
  • Explorer 26 - . Payload: EPE D - 661A Flight 21-3. Mass: 46 kg (101 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: NASA Greenbelt. Program: Explorer. Class: Astronomy. Type: Solar satellite. Spacecraft: EPE. Decay Date: 1978-03-31 . USAF Sat Cat: 963 . COSPAR: 1964-086A. Apogee: 10,043 km (6,240 mi). Perigee: 284 km (176 mi). Inclination: 19.8000 deg. Period: 205.70 min. Spacecraft engaged in research and exploration of the upper atmosphere or outer space (US Cat B)..

1965 February 3 - . 16:36 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC17B. LV Family: Thor. Launch Vehicle: Thor Delta C.
  • OSO 2 - . Payload: OSO B2 (S-17). Mass: 247 kg (544 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: NASA Greenbelt. Class: Astronomy. Type: Solar satellite. Spacecraft: OSO. Decay Date: 1989-08-09 . USAF Sat Cat: 987 . COSPAR: 1965-007A. Apogee: 306 km (190 mi). Perigee: 294 km (182 mi). Inclination: 32.8000 deg. Period: 90.50 min. Orbiting Solar Observatory; returned solar X-ray, UV, gamma ray data. Spacecraft engaged in research and exploration of the upper atmosphere or outer space (US Cat B). .

1965 July 16 - . 11:16 GMT - . Launch Site: Baikonur. Launch Complex: Baikonur LC81/23. LV Family: Proton. Launch Vehicle: UR-500.
  • Proton 1 - . Payload: N-4 s/n 1. Mass: 8,300 kg (18,200 lb). Nation: Russia. Related Persons: Chelomei. Agency: MOM. Program: Proton. Class: Astronomy. Type: X-ray astronomy satellite. Spacecraft: N-4 . Decay Date: 1965-10-11 . USAF Sat Cat: 1466 . COSPAR: 1965-054A. Apogee: 578 km (359 mi). Perigee: 181 km (112 mi). Inclination: 63.4000 deg. Period: 92.20 min.

    The first launch of the Proton launch vehicle was not without problems. A leak in the oxidiser pipeline resulted in nitrogen tetroxide spilling on electrical wires. The question was: proceed with the launch or abort? Chelomei decided to go ahead, and on 16 July 1965 the first UR-500 successfully launched the Proton 1 satellite. In the first hours after launch specialists from OKB-52 could only receive signals in the first hours that indicated the satellite was ‘alive’. However it later functioned normally and provided physics data on ultra-high-energy cosmic particles for 45 days.

    At the first launch the rocket was called ‘Gerkules’ (other sources say ‘Atlantis’), as indicated by the large symbol on the second stage skin. This name was however was not taken up.


1965 August 25 - . 15:17 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC17B. LV Family: Thor. Launch Vehicle: Thor Delta C. FAILURE: Premature third stage ignition.. Failed Stage: 3.
  • OSO C - . Payload: OSO C. Mass: 280 kg (610 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: NASA. Class: Astronomy. Type: Solar satellite. Spacecraft: OSO. Decay Date: 1965-08-25 .

1965 November 2 - . 12:28 GMT - . Launch Site: Baikonur. Launch Complex: Baikonur LC81/23. LV Family: Proton. Launch Vehicle: UR-500.
  • Proton 2 - . Payload: N-4 s/n 2. Mass: 8,300 kg (18,200 lb). Nation: Russia. Agency: MOM. Program: Proton. Class: Astronomy. Type: X-ray astronomy satellite. Spacecraft: N-4 . Decay Date: 1966-02-06 . USAF Sat Cat: 1701 . COSPAR: 1965-087A. Apogee: 608 km (377 mi). Perigee: 189 km (117 mi). Inclination: 63.5000 deg. Period: 92.50 min. High energy physics laboratory. Investigation of ultra-high-energy cosmic particles. .

1965 November 6 - . 18:38 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC17A. LV Family: Thor. Launch Vehicle: Thor Delta E.
  • Explorer 29 - . Payload: GEOS A. Mass: 175 kg (385 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: NASA Greenbelt. Program: Explorer. Class: Astronomy. Type: Solar satellite. Spacecraft: GEOS. USAF Sat Cat: 1726 . COSPAR: 1965-089A. Apogee: 2,269 km (1,409 mi). Perigee: 1,120 km (690 mi). Inclination: 59.4000 deg. Period: 120.30 min.

    The primary objective of GEOS-A was to provide global geodetic measurements for determining the positions of fiducial control points on the Earth to an accuracy of 10 meters in an Earth centre of mass co-ordinate system, and to determine the structure of the Earth's gravity field to 5 parts in 10 million. Instrumentation included (1) four optical beacons, (2) laser reflectors, (3) a radio range transponder, (4) Doppler beacons, and (5) a range and range rate transponder. These were designed to operate simultaneously to fulfil the objectives of locating observation points (geodetic control stations) in a three dimensional earth centre-of-mass co-ordinate system within 10 m of accuracy, of defining the structure of the earth's irregular gravitational field and refining the locations and magnitudes of the large gravity anomalies, and of comparing results of the various systems onboard the spacecraft to determine the most accurate and reliable system. In January 1967, a failure in the satellite's command system rendered several geodetic systems inoperable. Radio doppler measurements and the passive laser reflector experiment could continue indefinitely, however. Additional Details: here....


1965 November 19 - . 04:48 GMT - . Launch Site: Wallops Island. Launch Complex: Wallops Island LA3A. LV Family: Scout. Launch Vehicle: Scout X-4.
  • Explorer 30 - . Payload: Solar Explorer A. Mass: 57 kg (125 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: NRL. Program: Explorer. Class: Astronomy. Type: Solar satellite. Spacecraft: IQSY. USAF Sat Cat: 1738 . COSPAR: 1965-093A. Apogee: 856 km (531 mi). Perigee: 671 km (416 mi). Inclination: 59.7000 deg. Period: 100.10 min. Solar radiation data. Spacecraft engaged in research and exploration of the upper atmosphere or outer space (US Cat B). .

1965 December 16 - . 07:31 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC17A. LV Family: Thor. Launch Vehicle: Thor Delta E.
  • Pioneer 6 - . Payload: Pioneer A. Mass: 63 kg (138 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: NASA Ames. Program: Pioneer. Class: Astronomy. Type: Solar satellite. Spacecraft: Pioneer 6-7-8-9-E. USAF Sat Cat: 1841 . COSPAR: 1965-105A. Measured solar wind, Sun's magnetic field. Solar Orbit (Heliocentric). Spacecraft engaged in research and exploration of the upper atmosphere or outer space (US Cat B)..

1966 March 24 - . 21:00 GMT - . Launch Site: Baikonur. Launch Complex: Baikonur LC81/23. LV Family: Proton. Launch Vehicle: UR-500. FAILURE: Second stage malfunction.. Failed Stage: 2.
  • N-4 s/n 3 - . Payload: N-4. Mass: 8,300 kg (18,200 lb). Nation: Russia. Agency: RVSN. Program: Proton. Class: Astronomy. Type: X-ray astronomy satellite. Spacecraft: N-4. Decay Date: 1966-03-24 .

1966 April 8 - . 19:35 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC12. LV Family: Atlas. Launch Vehicle: Atlas SLV-3 Agena D.
  • OAO 1 - . Payload: OAO A1. Mass: 1,774 kg (3,911 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: NASA Greenbelt. Class: Astronomy. Type: X-ray astronomy satellite. Spacecraft: OAO. USAF Sat Cat: 2142 . COSPAR: 1966-031A. Apogee: 793 km (492 mi). Perigee: 783 km (486 mi). Inclination: 35.0000 deg. Period: 100.60 min. Orbiting Astronomical Observatory. Spacecraft engaged in research and exploration of the upper atmosphere or outer space (US Cat B). .

1966 July 6 - . 12:57 GMT - . Launch Site: Baikonur. Launch Complex: Baikonur LC81/23. LV Family: Proton. Launch Vehicle: UR-500.
  • Proton 3 - . Payload: N-4 s/n 4. Mass: 8,300 kg (18,200 lb). Nation: Russia. Agency: MOM. Program: Proton. Class: Astronomy. Type: X-ray astronomy satellite. Spacecraft: N-4 . Decay Date: 1966-09-16 . USAF Sat Cat: 2290 . COSPAR: 1966-060A. Apogee: 594 km (369 mi). Perigee: 185 km (114 mi). Inclination: 63.5000 deg. Period: 92.30 min. Space station 'Proton 3'. Investigation of ultra high energy cosmic particles .

1966 August 17 - . 15:20 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC17A. LV Family: Thor. Launch Vehicle: Thor Delta E1.
  • Pioneer 7 - . Payload: Pioneer B. Mass: 63 kg (138 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: NASA Ames. Program: Pioneer. Class: Astronomy. Type: Solar satellite. Spacecraft: Pioneer 6-7-8-9-E. USAF Sat Cat: 2398 . COSPAR: 1966-075A. Apogee: 993 km (617 mi). Perigee: 246 km (152 mi). Inclination: 33.0000 deg. Period: 97.20 min. Monitored solar wind, cosmic rays. SOLAR ORB. Spacecraft engaged in research and exploration of the upper atmosphere or outer space (US Cat B)..

1967 March 8 - . 16:12 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC17A. LV Family: Thor. Launch Vehicle: Thor Delta C.
  • OSO 3 - . Payload: OSO E1. Mass: 281 kg (619 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: NASA Greenbelt. Class: Astronomy. Type: Solar satellite. Spacecraft: OSO. Decay Date: 1982-04-04 . USAF Sat Cat: 2703 . COSPAR: 1967-020A. Apogee: 570 km (350 mi). Perigee: 546 km (339 mi). Inclination: 32.8000 deg. Period: 95.80 min. Orbiting Solar Observatory. Spacecraft engaged in research and exploration of the upper atmosphere or outer space (US Cat B). .

1967 June 16 - . 04:44 GMT - . Launch Site: Kapustin Yar. Launch Complex: Kapustin Yar LC86/1. LV Family: R-12. Launch Vehicle: Kosmos 11K63.
  • Cosmos 166 - . Payload: DS-U3-S s/n 1. Mass: 357 kg (787 lb). Nation: Russia. Agency: MO. Program: DS. Class: Astronomy. Type: Solar satellite. Spacecraft Bus: DS. Spacecraft: DS-U3-S. Completed Operations Date: 1967-09-26 . Decay Date: 1967-10-25 . USAF Sat Cat: 2848 . COSPAR: 1967-061A. Apogee: 555 km (344 mi). Perigee: 288 km (178 mi). Inclination: 48.4000 deg. Period: 93.00 min. Specialized orbital solar observatory for measuring solar rays in mulitple spectral zones..

1967 October 18 - . 15:58 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC17B. LV Family: Thor. Launch Vehicle: Thor Delta C1.
  • OSO 4 - . Payload: OSO D. Mass: 272 kg (599 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: NASA Greenbelt. Class: Astronomy. Type: Solar satellite. Spacecraft: OSO. Decay Date: 1982-06-15 . USAF Sat Cat: 3000 . COSPAR: 1967-100A. Apogee: 555 km (344 mi). Perigee: 552 km (342 mi). Inclination: 32.9000 deg. Period: 95.70 min. Extreme UV solar observations. Spacecraft engaged in research and exploration of the upper atmosphere or outer space (US Cat B). .

1967 December 13 - . 14:08 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC17B. LV Family: Thor. Launch Vehicle: Thor Delta E1.
  • Pioneer 8 - . Payload: Pioneer C / TTS 1. Mass: 63 kg (138 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: NASA Ames. Program: Pioneer. Class: Astronomy. Type: Solar satellite. Spacecraft: Pioneer 6-7-8-9-E. USAF Sat Cat: 3066 . COSPAR: 1967-123A. Solar radiation data. Solar Orbit (Heliocentric). Spacecraft engaged in research and exploration of the upper atmosphere or outer space (US Cat B)..

1968 January 11 - . 16:16 GMT - . Launch Site: Vandenberg. Launch Complex: Vandenberg SLC2E. LV Family: Thor. Launch Vehicle: Thor Delta E1.
  • Explorer 36 - . Payload: GEOS B. Mass: 209 kg (460 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: NASA Greenbelt. Program: Explorer. Class: Astronomy. Type: Solar satellite. Spacecraft: GEOS. USAF Sat Cat: 3093 . COSPAR: 1968-002A. Apogee: 1,574 km (978 mi). Perigee: 1,081 km (671 mi). Inclination: 105.8000 deg. Period: 112.20 min.

    The geodetic instrumentation systems included (1) four optical beacons, (2) two C-band radar transponders, (3) a passive radar reflector, (4) a sequential collation of range radio range transponder, (5) a Goddard range and range rate transponder, (6) laser reflectors, and (7) Doppler beacons. Non-geodetic systems included a laser detector and a Minitrack interferometer beacon. The objectives of the spacecraft were to optimise optical station visibility periods and to provide complementary data for inclination-dependent terms established by the Explorer 29 (GEOS 1) gravimetric studies. The spacecraft was placed into a retrograde orbit to accomplish these objectives. Operational problems occurred in the main power system, optical beacon flash system, and the spacecraft clock, and adjustments in scheduling resulted in nominal operations.


1968 March 5 - . 18:28 GMT - . Launch Site: Wallops Island. Launch Complex: Wallops Island LA3A. LV Family: Scout. Launch Vehicle: Scout B. FAILURE: Partial Failure.. Failed Stage: 4.
  • Explorer 37 - . Payload: Solar Explorer B. Mass: 198 kg (436 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: NRL. Program: Explorer. Class: Astronomy. Type: Solar satellite. Spacecraft: Solrad. Decay Date: 1990-11-16 . USAF Sat Cat: 3141 . COSPAR: 1968-017A. Apogee: 433 km (269 mi). Perigee: 353 km (219 mi). Inclination: 59.3000 deg. Period: 92.40 min. Solar Explorer B; radiation data; off-nominal orbit..

1968 July 4 - . 17:26 GMT - . Launch Site: Vandenberg. Launch Complex: Vandenberg SLC2E. LV Family: Thor. Launch Vehicle: Thor Delta J.
  • Explorer 38 - . Payload: RAE A. Mass: 190 kg (410 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: NASA Greenbelt. Program: Explorer. Class: Astronomy. Type: X-ray astronomy satellite. Spacecraft: RAE. USAF Sat Cat: 3307 . COSPAR: 1968-055A. Apogee: 5,861 km (3,641 mi). Perigee: 5,835 km (3,625 mi). Inclination: 120.9000 deg. Period: 224.30 min. Radio Astronomy Explorer; Earth, solar, cosmic radio emission data. Spacecraft engaged in research and exploration of the upper atmosphere or outer space (US Cat B). .

1968 July 5 - . 06:59 GMT - . Launch Site: Kapustin Yar. Launch Complex: Kapustin Yar LC86/4. LV Family: R-12. Launch Vehicle: Kosmos 11K63.
  • Cosmos 230 - . Payload: DS-U3-S s/n 2. Mass: 367 kg (809 lb). Nation: Russia. Agency: MO. Program: DS. Class: Astronomy. Type: Solar satellite. Spacecraft Bus: DS. Spacecraft: DS-U3-S. Completed Operations Date: 1968-11-02 . Decay Date: 1968-11-02 . USAF Sat Cat: 3308 . COSPAR: 1968-056A. Apogee: 546 km (339 mi). Perigee: 287 km (178 mi). Inclination: 48.4000 deg. Period: 92.90 min. Specialized orbital solar observatory for measuring solar rays in mulitple spectral zones..

1968 November 8 - . 09:46 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC17B. LV Family: Thor. Launch Vehicle: Thor Delta E1.
  • Pioneer 9 - . Payload: Pioneer D / TTS 2. Mass: 63 kg (138 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: NASA Ames. Program: Pioneer. Class: Astronomy. Type: Solar satellite. Spacecraft: Pioneer 6-7-8-9-E. USAF Sat Cat: 3533 . COSPAR: 1968-100A. Solar radiation data. Solar Orbit (Heliocentric). Spacecraft engaged in research and exploration of the upper atmosphere or outer space (US Cat B)..

1968 November 16 - . 11:40 GMT - . Launch Site: Baikonur. Launch Complex: Baikonur LC81/24. LV Family: Proton. Launch Vehicle: Proton-K.
  • Proton 4 - . Payload: N-6 s/n 1. Mass: 16,000 kg (35,000 lb). Nation: Russia. Agency: MOM. Program: Proton. Class: Astronomy. Type: X-ray astronomy satellite. Spacecraft: N-6 . Decay Date: 1969-07-24 . USAF Sat Cat: 3544 . COSPAR: 1968-103A. Apogee: 477 km (296 mi). Perigee: 248 km (154 mi). Inclination: 51.6000 deg. Period: 91.80 min. First launch of the Proton three-stage variant. The satellite studied the nature of high and ultra-high energy cosmic rays and their interaction with atomic nuclei. Scientific payload 12,500 kg; operated for 100 days in orbit. .

1968 December 7 - . 08:40 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC36B. LV Family: Atlas. Launch Vehicle: Atlas SLV-3C Centaur.
  • OAO 2 - . Payload: OAO A2. Mass: 2,012 kg (4,435 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: NASA Greenbelt. Class: Astronomy. Type: X-ray astronomy satellite. Spacecraft: OAO. USAF Sat Cat: 3597 . COSPAR: 1968-110A. Apogee: 758 km (470 mi). Perigee: 749 km (465 mi). Inclination: 35.0000 deg. Period: 99.90 min.

    Orbiting Astronomical Observatory; carried 11 telescopes; performed X-ray, UV, IR observations of stars. Spacecraft engaged in research and exploration of the upper atmosphere or outer space (US Cat B). Launch vehicle put payload into geosynchronous transfer orbit


1968 December 26 - . 09:45 GMT - . Launch Site: Kapustin Yar. Launch Complex: Kapustin Yar LC86/4. LV Family: R-12. Launch Vehicle: Kosmos 11K63.
  • Cosmos 262 - . Payload: DS-U2-GF s/n 1. Mass: 352 kg (776 lb). Nation: Russia. Agency: MO. Program: DS. Class: Astronomy. Type: Solar satellite. Spacecraft Bus: DS. Spacecraft: DS-U2-GF. Completed Operations Date: 1969-05-03 . Decay Date: 1969-07-18 . USAF Sat Cat: 3629 . COSPAR: 1968-119A. Apogee: 791 km (491 mi). Perigee: 264 km (164 mi). Inclination: 48.4000 deg. Period: 95.20 min. Conducted heliophysical studies..

1969 January 22 - . 16:48 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC17B. LV Family: Thor. Launch Vehicle: Thor Delta C1.
  • OSO 5 - . Payload: OSO F. Mass: 291 kg (641 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: NASA Greenbelt. Class: Astronomy. Type: Solar satellite. Spacecraft: OSO. Decay Date: 1984-04-02 . USAF Sat Cat: 3663 . COSPAR: 1969-006A. Apogee: 559 km (347 mi). Perigee: 538 km (334 mi). Inclination: 33.0000 deg. Period: 95.60 min. Orbiting Solar Observatory; solar radiation data. Spacecraft engaged in research and exploration of the upper atmosphere or outer space (US Cat B). .

1969 August 9 - . 07:52 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC17A. LV Family: Thor. Launch Vehicle: Thor Delta N.
  • OSO 6 - . Payload: OSO G. Mass: 290 kg (630 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: NASA Greenbelt. Class: Astronomy. Type: Solar satellite. Spacecraft: OSO. Decay Date: 1981-03-07 . USAF Sat Cat: 4065 . COSPAR: 1969-068A. Apogee: 554 km (344 mi). Perigee: 489 km (303 mi). Inclination: 32.9000 deg. Period: 95.10 min. Orbiting Solar Observatory; solar physics experiments. Spacecraft engaged in research and exploration of the upper atmosphere or outer space (US Cat B). .

1969 August 27 - . 21:59 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC17A. LV Family: Thor. Launch Vehicle: Thor Delta L. FAILURE: First stage hydraulics failure. Vehicle destructed at T+383 seconds. Failed Stage: 1.
1970 November 30 - . 22:40 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC36B. LV Family: Atlas. Launch Vehicle: Atlas SLV-3C Centaur. FAILURE: Shroud failed to separate.. Failed Stage: S.
  • OAO-B - . Payload: OAO B. Mass: 2,121 kg (4,676 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: NASA. Class: Astronomy. Type: X-ray astronomy satellite. Spacecraft: OAO. Decay Date: 1970-11-30 . COSPAR: F701130A. Orbiting Astronomical Observatory. Launch vehicle was to have put payload into geosynchronous transfer orbit.

1970 December 12 - . 10:53 GMT - . Launch Site: San Marco. LV Family: Scout. Launch Vehicle: Scout B.
  • Explorer 42 - . Payload: SAS A. Mass: 143 kg (315 lb). Nation: Italy. Agency: NASA Greenbelt. Program: Explorer. Class: Astronomy. Type: Solar satellite. Spacecraft: SAS. Decay Date: 1979-04-05 . USAF Sat Cat: 4797 . COSPAR: 1970-107A. Apogee: 570 km (350 mi). Perigee: 521 km (323 mi). Inclination: 3.0000 deg. Period: 95.50 min. Spacecraft engaged in research and exploration of the upper atmosphere or outer space (US Cat B). .

1971 July 8 - . 22:58 GMT - . Launch Site: Wallops Island. Launch Complex: Wallops Island LA3A. LV Family: Scout. Launch Vehicle: Scout B.
  • Explorer 44 - . Payload: Solar Explorer C. Mass: 118 kg (260 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: NRL. Program: Explorer. Class: Astronomy. Type: Solar satellite. Spacecraft: Solrad. Decay Date: 1979-12-15 . USAF Sat Cat: 5317 . COSPAR: 1971-058A. Apogee: 632 km (392 mi). Perigee: 433 km (269 mi). Inclination: 51.1000 deg. Period: 95.20 min. Solar radition data. Spacecraft engaged in research and exploration of the upper atmosphere or outer space (US Cat B). .

1971 September 29 - . 09:45 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC17A. LV Family: Thor. Launch Vehicle: Thor Delta N.
  • OSO 7 - . Payload: OSO H. Mass: 635 kg (1,399 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: NASA Greenbelt. Class: Astronomy. Type: Solar satellite. Spacecraft: OSO. Decay Date: 1974-07-09 . USAF Sat Cat: 5491 . COSPAR: 1971-083A. Apogee: 572 km (355 mi). Perigee: 326 km (202 mi). Inclination: 33.1000 deg. Period: 93.50 min. Orbiting Solar Observatory. Spacecraft engaged in research and exploration of the upper atmosphere or outer space (US Cat B). .

1971 December 2 - . 17:30 GMT - . Launch Site: Plesetsk. Launch Complex: Plesetsk LC132/1. LV Family: R-14. Launch Vehicle: Kosmos 11K65M.
  • Cosmos 461 - . Payload: DS-U2-MT s/n 1. Mass: 680 kg (1,490 lb). Nation: Russia. Agency: MO. Program: DS. Class: Astronomy. Type: Gamma ray astronomy satellite. Spacecraft Bus: DS. Spacecraft: DS-U2-MT. Completed Operations Date: 1972-12-14 . Decay Date: 1979-02-21 . USAF Sat Cat: 5643 . COSPAR: 1971-105A. Apogee: 510 km (310 mi). Perigee: 487 km (302 mi). Inclination: 69.0000 deg. Period: 94.60 min. Measured micrometeoroid impacts and gamma rays..

1972 August 21 - . 10:28 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC36B. LV Family: Atlas. Launch Vehicle: Atlas SLV-3C Centaur.
  • OAO 3 - . Payload: OAO-C. Mass: 2,204 kg (4,858 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: NASA Greenbelt. Class: Astronomy. Type: X-ray astronomy satellite. Spacecraft: OAO. USAF Sat Cat: 6153 . COSPAR: 1972-065A. Apogee: 724 km (449 mi). Perigee: 713 km (443 mi). Inclination: 35.0000 deg. Period: 99.20 min. UV observations of stellar objects. Spacecraft engaged in research and exploration of the upper atmosphere or outer space (US Cat B). Launch vehicle put payload into geosynchronous transfer orbit.

1972 November 15 - . 22:13 GMT - . Launch Site: San Marco. LV Family: Scout. Launch Vehicle: Scout D-1.
  • Explorer 48 - . Payload: SAS B. Mass: 185 kg (407 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: NASA Greenbelt. Program: Explorer. Class: Astronomy. Type: Solar satellite. Spacecraft: SAS. Decay Date: 1976-08-20 . USAF Sat Cat: 6282 . COSPAR: 1972-091A. Apogee: 526 km (326 mi). Perigee: 526 km (326 mi). Inclination: 1.0000 deg. Period: 95.20 min. Spacecraft engaged in research and exploration of the upper atmosphere or outer space (US Cat B). .

1973 June 10 - . 14:13 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC17B. LV Family: Thor. Launch Vehicle: Delta 1913.
  • Explorer 49 - . Payload: RAE B. Mass: 328 kg (723 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: NASA Greenbelt. Program: Explorer. Class: Astronomy. Type: X-ray astronomy satellite. Spacecraft: RAE. USAF Sat Cat: 6686 . COSPAR: 1973-039A. Radio Astronomy Explorer; measured galactic, stellar radio noise. Lunar Orbit (Selenocentric). Spacecraft engaged in research and exploration of the upper atmosphere or outer space (US Cat B)..

1974 June 3 - . 23:09 GMT - . Launch Site: Vandenberg. Launch Complex: Vandenberg SLC5. LV Family: Scout. Launch Vehicle: Scout E-1.
  • Explorer 52 - . Payload: Hawkeye. Mass: 27 kg (59 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: NASA Langley. Program: Explorer. Class: Astronomy. Type: Solar satellite. Spacecraft: Hawkeye. Decay Date: 1978-04-30 . USAF Sat Cat: 7325 . COSPAR: 1974-040A. Apogee: 125,569 km (78,024 mi). Perigee: 469 km (291 mi). Inclination: 89.0000 deg. Period: 3,032.00 min. Solar wind experiments. Spacecraft engaged in research and exploration of the upper atmosphere or outer space (US Cat B). .

1974 August 30 - . 14:07 GMT - . Launch Site: Vandenberg. Launch Complex: Vandenberg SLC5. LV Family: Scout. Launch Vehicle: Scout D-1. FAILURE: Partial Failure.. Failed Stage: 4.
  • ANS 1 - . Mass: 129 kg (284 lb). Nation: Netherlands. Agency: NIVR. Class: Astronomy. Type: X-ray astronomy satellite. Spacecraft: ANS. Decay Date: 1977-06-14 . USAF Sat Cat: 7427 . COSPAR: 1974-070A. Apogee: 1,173 km (728 mi). Perigee: 258 km (160 mi). Inclination: 98.0000 deg. Period: 99.10 min. Astronomical Netherlands Satellite; lower than planned orbit. .

1974 December 10 - . 07:11 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC41. LV Family: Titan. Launch Vehicle: Titan IIIE.
  • Helios 1 - . Mass: 370 kg (810 lb). Nation: Germany. Agency: DFVLR. Class: Astronomy. Type: Solar satellite. Spacecraft: Helios. USAF Sat Cat: 7567 . COSPAR: 1974-097A.

    A Titan IIIE/Centaur launched from Cape Canaveral boosted the United States-West German HELIOS spacecraft into heliocentric orbit as a solar probe to investigate the properties and processes of solar/terrestrial relationships. This was the first completely successful flight of the Titan IIIE/Centaur booster combination. Solar probe. Solar Orbit (Heliocentric). Launched by the United States and the Federal Republic of Germany. Helios A (Helios I). Heliocentric orbit 190 days, 0.309 x 0.985 AU x 0 deg. Exploration of the interplanetary space between the earth and the sun and study of solar influences on that area.


1975 April 9 - . 23:58 GMT - . Launch Site: Vandenberg. Launch Complex: Vandenberg SLC2W. LV Family: Thor. Launch Vehicle: Delta 1410.
  • Geos 3 - . Payload: GEOS C. Mass: 341 kg (751 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: NASA Wallops. Class: Astronomy. Type: Solar satellite. Spacecraft: Geos. USAF Sat Cat: 7734 . COSPAR: 1975-027A. Apogee: 848 km (526 mi). Perigee: 817 km (507 mi). Inclination: 115.0000 deg. Period: 101.60 min.

    Geodynamics Experimental Ocean Satellite. The mission of GEOS 3 (Geodynamics Experimental Ocean Satellite) was to provide the stepping stone between the National Geodetic Satellite Program (NGSP) and the Earth and Ocean Physics Application Program. It provided data to refine the geodetic and geophysical results of the NGSP and served as a test for new systems. A major achievment was the flight of a radar altimeter. Further mission objectives: intercomparison of tracking systems, investigation of solid-earth dynamic phenomena through precision laser tracking, refinement of orbit determination techniques, determination of interdatum ties and gravity models, and support of the calibration and position determination of NASA Spaceflight Tracking and Data Network (STDN) S-band tracking stations.


1975 May 7 - . 22:45 GMT - . Launch Site: San Marco. LV Family: Scout. Launch Vehicle: Scout F-1.
  • Explorer 53 - . Payload: SAS C. Mass: 195 kg (429 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: NASA Greenbelt. Program: Explorer. Class: Astronomy. Type: Solar satellite. Spacecraft: SAS. Decay Date: 1979-04-09 . USAF Sat Cat: 7788 . COSPAR: 1975-037A. Apogee: 507 km (315 mi). Perigee: 498 km (309 mi). Inclination: 3.0000 deg. Period: 94.70 min. Spacecraft engaged in research and exploration of the upper atmosphere or outer space (US Cat B). .

1975 June 21 - . 11:43 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC17B. LV Family: Thor. Launch Vehicle: Delta 1910.
  • OSO 8 - . Payload: OSO I. Mass: 1,066 kg (2,350 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: NASA Greenbelt. Class: Astronomy. Type: Solar satellite. Spacecraft: OSO. Decay Date: 1986-07-09 . USAF Sat Cat: 7970 . COSPAR: 1975-057A. Apogee: 553 km (343 mi). Perigee: 539 km (334 mi). Inclination: 32.9000 deg. Period: 95.60 min. Orbiting Solar Observatory. Spacecraft engaged in research and exploration of the upper atmosphere or outer space (US Cat B). .

1976 January 15 - . 05:34 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC41. LV Family: Titan. Launch Vehicle: Titan IIIE.
  • Helios 2 - . Mass: 376 kg (828 lb). Nation: Germany. Agency: DFVLR. Class: Astronomy. Type: Solar satellite. Spacecraft: Helios. USAF Sat Cat: 8582 . COSPAR: 1976-003A.

    A Titan HIE carrying a West German Helios payload was successfully launched from LC-41, Eastern Test Range. Solar probe. Solar Orbit (Heliocentric). Spacecraft engaged in practical applications and uses of space technology such as weather or communication (US Cat C).


1976 March 15 - . 01:25 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC40. LV Family: Titan. Launch Vehicle: Titan IIIC.
  • Solrad 11B - . Mass: 181 kg (399 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Class: Astronomy. Type: Solar satellite. Spacecraft: Solrad. USAF Sat Cat: 8749 . COSPAR: 1976-023D. Apogee: 116,645 km (72,479 mi). Perigee: 115,720 km (71,900 mi). Inclination: 25.6000 deg. Period: 7,116.70 min. Solar radiation data. Spacecraft engaged in practical applications and uses of space technology such as weather or communication (US Cat C)..
  • Solrad 11A - . Mass: 181 kg (399 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Class: Astronomy. Type: Solar satellite. Spacecraft: Solrad. USAF Sat Cat: 8748 . COSPAR: 1976-023C. Apogee: 119,180 km (74,050 mi). Perigee: 118,383 km (73,559 mi). Inclination: 25.7000 deg. Period: 7,344.30 min. Solar radiation data. Spacecraft engaged in practical applications and uses of space technology such as weather or communication (US Cat C)..

1977 August 12 - . 06:29 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC36B. LV Family: Atlas. Launch Vehicle: Atlas SLV-3D Centaur.
  • HEAO 1 - . Payload: HEAO A. Mass: 2,720 kg (5,990 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: NASA Huntsville. Class: Astronomy. Type: X-ray astronomy satellite. Spacecraft: HEAO. Decay Date: 1979-03-15 . USAF Sat Cat: 10217 . COSPAR: 1977-075A. Apogee: 447 km (277 mi). Perigee: 429 km (266 mi). Inclination: 22.7000 deg. Period: 93.40 min. High Energy Astronomical Observatory; surveyed sky in X-ray band. Spacecraft engaged in research and exploration of the upper atmosphere or outer space (US Cat B)..

1978 January 26 - . 17:36 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC17A. LV Family: Thor. Launch Vehicle: Delta 2914.
  • IUE 1 - . Payload: IUE. Mass: 672 kg (1,481 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: ESA, NASA. Class: Astronomy. Type: X-ray astronomy satellite. Spacecraft: IUE. Completed Operations Date: 1996-09-30 . USAF Sat Cat: 10637 . COSPAR: 1978-012A. Apogee: 41,296 km (25,660 mi). Perigee: 30,285 km (18,818 mi). Inclination: 34.3000 deg. Period: 1,436.30 min.

    International Ultraviolet Explorer. Spacecraft engaged in practical applications and uses of space technology such as weather or communication (US Cat C). Positioned in geosynchronous orbit over the Atlantic Ocean at 30 deg W in-60 deg W in 1978-1996 As of 3 September 2001 located at 35.66 deg E drifting at 0.773 deg W per day. As of 2007 Mar 8 located at 14.14W drifting at 0.700W degrees per day.


1978 November 13 - . 05:24 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC36B. LV Family: Atlas. Launch Vehicle: Atlas SLV-3D Centaur.
  • HEAO 2 - . Payload: HEAO B. Mass: 3,150 kg (6,940 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: NASA Huntsville. Class: Astronomy. Type: X-ray astronomy satellite. Spacecraft: HEAO. Decay Date: 1982-03-25 . USAF Sat Cat: 11101 . COSPAR: 1978-103A. Apogee: 548 km (340 mi). Perigee: 526 km (326 mi). Inclination: 23.5000 deg. Period: 95.40 min. High Energy Astronomy Observatory. Spacecraft engaged in practical applications and uses of space technology such as weather or communication (US Cat C)..

1978 December 23 - . 08:39 GMT - . Launch Site: Plesetsk. LV Family: R-7. Launch Vehicle: Vostok 8A92M.
  • Cosmos 1066 - . Payload: Astrofizika s/n 1. Mass: 2,750 kg (6,060 lb). Nation: Russia. Agency: MOM. Class: Astronomy. Type: X-ray astronomy satellite. Spacecraft Bus: Meteor. Spacecraft: Astrofizika. USAF Sat Cat: 11165 . COSPAR: 1978-121A. Apogee: 890 km (550 mi). Perigee: 819 km (508 mi). Inclination: 81.2000 deg. Period: 102.00 min. Probable failure. Investigation of the upper atmosphere and outer space. .

1979 September 20 - . 05:28 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC36B. LV Family: Atlas. Launch Vehicle: Atlas SLV-3D Centaur.
  • HEAO 3 - . Payload: HEAO C. Mass: 3,150 kg (6,940 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: NASA. Class: Astronomy. Type: X-ray astronomy satellite. Spacecraft: HEAO. Decay Date: 1981-12-07 . USAF Sat Cat: 11532 . COSPAR: 1979-082A. Apogee: 503 km (312 mi). Perigee: 487 km (302 mi). Inclination: 43.6000 deg. Period: 94.50 min. High Energy Astronomy Observatory; cosmic, gamma ray measurements. Spacecraft engaged in practical applications and uses of space technology such as weather or communication (US Cat C)..

1980 February 14 - . 15:57 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC17A. LV Family: Thor. Launch Vehicle: Delta 3910.
  • SMM - . Payload: Solar Maximum Mission. Mass: 2,315 kg (5,103 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: NASA Greenbelt. Class: Astronomy. Type: Solar satellite. Spacecraft Bus: MMS. Spacecraft: SMM. Decay Date: 1989-12-02 . USAF Sat Cat: 11703 . COSPAR: 1980-014A. Apogee: 408 km (253 mi). Perigee: 405 km (251 mi). Inclination: 28.5000 deg. Period: 92.70 min. Solar Maximum Mission; solar observatory; repaired 4/9/84 by STS-41C in orbit. Spacecraft engaged in practical applications and uses of space technology such as weather or communication (US Cat C). .

1981 February 21 - . 00:30 GMT - . Launch Site: Kagoshima. Launch Complex: Kagoshima M. LV Family: Mu. Launch Vehicle: Mu-3S.
  • SS-07 Hinotori - . Payload: Astro A. Mass: 185 kg (407 lb). Nation: Japan. Agency: ISAS. Class: Astronomy. Type: X-ray astronomy satellite. Spacecraft: Astro. Decay Date: 1991-07-11 . USAF Sat Cat: 12307 . COSPAR: 1981-017A. Apogee: 279 km (173 mi). Perigee: 274 km (170 mi). Inclination: 31.3000 deg. Period: 90.10 min. Hinotori (ASTRO-A). Launching organisation: Institute of Space and Aeronautical Science, University of Tokyo. Investigation of solar flare by X-ray telescope and spectrograph. .

1981 October 6 - . 11:27 GMT - . Launch Site: Vandenberg. Launch Complex: Vandenberg SLC2W. LV Family: Thor. Launch Vehicle: Delta 2310.
  • SME - . Payload: Solar Mesosphere Explorer. Mass: 437 kg (963 lb). Nation: USA. Class: Astronomy. Type: X-ray astronomy satellite. Spacecraft: SME. Decay Date: 1991-03-05 . USAF Sat Cat: 12887 . COSPAR: 1981-100A. Apogee: 337 km (209 mi). Perigee: 335 km (208 mi). Inclination: 97.6000 deg. Period: 91.30 min. Solar Mesosphere Explorer. Spacecraft engaged in practical applications and uses of space technology such as weather or communication (US Cat C)..

1983 January 26 - . 02:17 GMT - . Launch Site: Vandenberg. Launch Complex: Vandenberg SLC2W. LV Family: Thor. Launch Vehicle: Delta 3910.
  • IRAS - . Payload: IRAS / PIX 2 #. Mass: 1,073 kg (2,365 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: JPL, NIVR. Class: Astronomy. Type: X-ray astronomy satellite. Spacecraft: IRAS. USAF Sat Cat: 13777 . COSPAR: 1983-004A. Apogee: 903 km (561 mi). Perigee: 885 km (549 mi). Inclination: 99.0000 deg. Period: 102.90 min. All-sky survey of astronomical IR bodies. Spacecraft engaged in research and exploration of the upper atmosphere or outer space (US Cat B). .

1983 February 20 - . 05:10 GMT - . Launch Site: Kagoshima. Launch Complex: Kagoshima M. Launch Pad: M1. LV Family: Mu. Launch Vehicle: Mu-3S.
  • SS-08 Tenma - . Payload: Astro B. Mass: 185 kg (407 lb). Nation: Japan. Agency: ISAS. Class: Astronomy. Type: X-ray astronomy satellite. Spacecraft: Astro. Decay Date: 1988-12-17 . USAF Sat Cat: 13829 . COSPAR: 1983-011A. Apogee: 438 km (272 mi). Perigee: 431 km (267 mi). Inclination: 31.5000 deg. Period: 93.30 min.

    X-ray experiments. Astro-B (Tenma). Launch 0510 GMT. Launching organization: ISAS (Institute of Space and Astronautical Science). X-ray observation of X-ray stars in our galaxy as well as X-ray galaxies using a scintillating proportional counter, a transient X-ray source mo nitor, an X-ray foucsing collector, a radiation belt monitor, a gamma ray burst detector and a star sensor.


1983 March 23 - . 12:45 GMT - . Launch Site: Baikonur. Launch Complex: Baikonur LC200/39. LV Family: Proton. Launch Vehicle: Proton-K/D-1.
  • Astron - . Payload: Astron 1 s/n 602L. Mass: 3,250 kg (7,160 lb). Nation: Russia. Agency: MOM. Class: Astronomy. Type: X-ray astronomy satellite. Spacecraft Bus: 4MV. Spacecraft: Astron. USAF Sat Cat: 13901 . COSPAR: 1983-020A. Apogee: 175,948 km (109,328 mi). Perigee: 28,386 km (17,638 mi). Inclination: 34.7000 deg. Period: 5,931.70 min. Astrophysics. Electrophysical research of galactic and extragalactic sources of ultraviolet ray and X-ray emission. The scientific apparatus was built jointly by scientists and specialists from the USSR and France. .

1983 May 26 - . 15:18 GMT - . Launch Site: Vandenberg. Launch Complex: Vandenberg SLC2W. LV Family: Thor. Launch Vehicle: Delta 3914.
  • Exosat - . Mass: 510 kg (1,120 lb). Nation: Europe. Agency: ESA. Class: Astronomy. Type: X-ray astronomy satellite. Spacecraft: Exosat. Decay Date: 1986-05-06 . USAF Sat Cat: 14095 . COSPAR: 1983-051A. Apogee: 191,878 km (119,227 mi). Perigee: 340 km (210 mi). Inclination: 72.5000 deg. Period: 5,442.10 min.

    X-ray experiments. Launch time 1518 UT. Launching agency ESA. EXOSAT is a space research satellite of the European Space Agency. The scientific objectives of the EXOSAT mission are to measure the position, structural features, spectral and temporal characteristics of cosmic X-ray sources in the energy range from less than 0.1 keV to greater than 50 keV.


1985 June 17 - . 11:33 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC39A. Launch Platform: MLP1. LV Family: Shuttle. Launch Vehicle: Space Shuttle.
  • Spartan 1 - . Payload: Spartan 101. Mass: 1,008 kg (2,222 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: NASA Greenbelt. Class: Astronomy. Type: X-ray astronomy satellite. Spacecraft Bus: Shuttle Attached Payloads. Spacecraft: Spartan. Decay Date: 1985-06-24 . USAF Sat Cat: 15831 . COSPAR: 1985-048E. Apogee: 395 km (245 mi). Perigee: 359 km (223 mi). Inclination: 28.5000 deg. Period: 92.10 min. Released by STS 51G 20 June 1985, retrieved 22 June 1985..

1987 February 5 - . 06:30 GMT - . Launch Site: Kagoshima. Launch Complex: Kagoshima M. Launch Pad: M1. LV Family: Mu. Launch Vehicle: Mu-3S-II.
  • Ginga - . Payload: Astro C. Mass: 420 kg (920 lb). Nation: Japan. Agency: ISAS. Class: Astronomy. Type: X-ray astronomy satellite. Spacecraft: Astro. Decay Date: 1991-11-01 . USAF Sat Cat: 17480 . COSPAR: 1987-012A. Apogee: 450 km (270 mi). Perigee: 395 km (245 mi). Inclination: 31.0000 deg. Period: 93.00 min. Studyied galactic gamma ray, X-ray sources. ASTRO-C (Ginga). Observation of variabilities of X-rays from active galactic nuclei and galactic compact sources. Launching organization ISAS. Launch time 0630 GMT. .

1989 August 8 - . 23:25 GMT - . Launch Site: Kourou. Launch Complex: Kourou ELA2. LV Family: Ariane. Launch Vehicle: Ariane 44LP.
  • Hipparcos - . Mass: 1,130 kg (2,490 lb). Nation: Europe. Agency: ESA. Class: Astronomy. Type: X-ray astronomy satellite. Spacecraft: Hipparcos. USAF Sat Cat: 20169 . COSPAR: 1989-062B. Apogee: 35,836 km (22,267 mi). Perigee: 542 km (336 mi). Inclination: 6.7000 deg. Period: 638.70 min. Didn't reach GEO due to AKM failure; measured star positions. Scientific satellite for astrometry. Frequency plan 2054.25 /2241 MHz. Launch time 2325:53 UT. Designator ESA/89/03. .

1989 November 18 - . 14:34 GMT - . Launch Site: Vandenberg. Launch Complex: Vandenberg SLC2W. LV Family: Thor. Launch Vehicle: Delta 5920-8.
  • COBE - . Mass: 2,265 kg (4,993 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: NASA Greenbelt. Class: Astronomy. Type: X-ray astronomy satellite. Spacecraft: COBE. USAF Sat Cat: 20322 . COSPAR: 1989-089A. Apogee: 886 km (550 mi). Perigee: 873 km (542 mi). Inclination: 98.9000 deg. Period: 102.60 min. Cosmic Background Explorer; measured background galactic infrared radiation. Spacecraft engaged in research and exploration of the upper atmosphere or outer space (US Cat B)..

1989 December 1 - . 20:20 GMT - . Launch Site: Baikonur. Launch Complex: Baikonur LC200/40. LV Family: Proton. Launch Vehicle: Proton-K/D-1.
  • Granat - . Payload: Granat 1AS s/n 1. Mass: 3,200 kg (7,000 lb). Nation: Russia. Agency: MOM. Class: Astronomy. Type: X-ray astronomy satellite. Spacecraft Bus: 4MV. Spacecraft: Granat. Decay Date: 1999-05-25 . USAF Sat Cat: 20352 . COSPAR: 1989-096A. Apogee: 149,862 km (93,119 mi). Perigee: 53,697 km (33,365 mi). Inclination: 86.6000 deg. Period: 5,899.90 min. X-, gamma-ray observatory; Danish, French, Bulgarian payloads. Granat orbital observatory. Conduct of studies of X-ray and soft gamma ray radiation sources in space by the USSR jointly with France, Denmark and Bulgaria. .

1990 April 24 - . 12:33 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC39B. Launch Platform: MLP2. LV Family: Shuttle. Launch Vehicle: Space Shuttle.
  • HST Hubble Space Telescope - . Payload: Hubble Space Telescope. Mass: 10,863 kg (23,948 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: NASA Greenbelt. Class: Astronomy. Type: Astronomy satellite. Spacecraft: HST. USAF Sat Cat: 20580 . COSPAR: 1990-037B. Apogee: 596 km (370 mi). Perigee: 590 km (360 mi). Inclination: 28.5000 deg. Period: 96.50 min. Hubble Space Telescope; deployed from STS-31 4/25/90. Spacecraft engaged in research and exploration of the upper atmosphere or outer space (US Cat B)..

1990 June 1 - . 21:48 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC17A. LV Family: Thor. Launch Vehicle: Delta 6920-10.
  • ROSAT - . Mass: 2,426 kg (5,348 lb). Nation: Germany. Agency: DLR. Class: Astronomy. Type: X-ray astronomy satellite. Spacecraft: ROSAT. Decay Date: 2011-10-23 . USAF Sat Cat: 20638 . COSPAR: 1990-049A. Apogee: 554 km (344 mi). Perigee: 539 km (334 mi). Inclination: 53.0000 deg. Period: 95.60 min. West German extreme UV, X-ray telescope; all-sky survey..

1990 July 11 - . 10:00 GMT - . Launch Site: Baikonur. Launch Complex: Baikonur LC1. LV Family: R-7. Launch Vehicle: Soyuz-U2.
  • Gamma - . Payload: Gamma s/n 1L. Mass: 7,350 kg (16,200 lb). Nation: Russia. Agency: MOM. Class: Astronomy. Type: X-ray astronomy satellite. Spacecraft: Gamma. Duration: 1,388.41 days. Decay Date: 1992-02-28 . USAF Sat Cat: 20683 . COSPAR: 1990-058A. Apogee: 387 km (240 mi). Perigee: 382 km (237 mi). Inclination: 51.6000 deg. Period: 92.30 min.

    Spacecraft mission was research in the field of high-energy (gamma/x-ray) astrophysics conducted jointly with France and Poland. The satellite was based on the Soyuz manned spacecraft and had an extremely long gestation - conceived in 1965, authorised in 1976, scheduled originally for launch in 1984, but further severe technical delays resulted in a 1990 launch.


1990 October 6 - . 11:47 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC39B. Launch Platform: MLP2. LV Family: Shuttle. Launch Vehicle: Space Shuttle.
  • Ulysses - . Payload: Discovery F11 / Ulysses [IUS + PAM-S]. Mass: 367 kg (809 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: JPL, NASA. Class: Astronomy. Type: Solar satellite. Spacecraft: Ulysses. USAF Sat Cat: 20842 . COSPAR: 1990-090B. Apogee: 300 km (180 mi). Perigee: 285 km (177 mi). Inclination: 28.4000 deg. Period: 90.10 min.

    Deployed from STS 41 10/6/90; solar research. Ulysses is a scientific spacecraft, within the framework of the international solar/polar mission. It will be the first spacecraft to fly over the poles of the sun. Frequency 2111.6073/2293.1481 MHz, 8408.2099 MHz., interplanetary trajectory i nto a polar flyby over the sun. Designator ESA/90/01. Also registered by the United States in ST/SG/SER.E/250, orbital data are taken from that document.


1991 April 5 - . 14:22 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC39B. Launch Platform: MLP1. LV Family: Shuttle. Launch Vehicle: Space Shuttle.
  • Compton Observatory - . Payload: Gamma Ray Observatory. Mass: 15,620 kg (34,430 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: NASA Greenbelt. Class: Astronomy. Type: X-ray astronomy satellite. Spacecraft: GRO. Decay Date: 2000-06-04 . USAF Sat Cat: 21225 . COSPAR: 1991-027B. Apogee: 453 km (281 mi). Perigee: 448 km (278 mi). Inclination: 28.5000 deg. Period: 93.60 min.

    Astrophysical laboratory for gamma ray observations; deployed from STS-37 4/7/91; renamed Compton Gamma Ray Observatory. The Compton Gamma Ray Observatory was intentionally deorbited on by NASA over the objections of the scientific community on June 3, 2000. NASA decided to end the mission after several orientation gyroscope failures. They felt that if another gyroscope was lost, the heavy spacecraft might eventually reenter out of control.


1991 April 28 - . 11:33 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC39A. Launch Platform: MLP2. LV Family: Shuttle. Launch Vehicle: Space Shuttle.
  • IBSS - . Payload: SPAS-2. Mass: 1,901 kg (4,190 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: SDIO. Class: Astronomy. Type: X-ray astronomy satellite. Spacecraft: IBSS. Decay Date: 1991-05-06 . USAF Sat Cat: 21244 . COSPAR: 1991-031B. Apogee: 255 km (158 mi). Perigee: 245 km (152 mi). Inclination: 57.0000 deg. Period: 89.50 min. Infrared Background Signature Survey; sensor technology test; retrieved 2 May 1991..

1991 July 17 - . 01:46 GMT - . Launch Site: Kourou. Launch Complex: Kourou ELA2. LV Family: Ariane. Launch Vehicle: Ariane 40.
  • SARA - . Mass: 26 kg (57 lb). Nation: France. Agency: ESIEESPA. Class: Astronomy. Type: X-ray astronomy satellite. Spacecraft: SARA. USAF Sat Cat: 21578 . COSPAR: 1991-050E. Apogee: 764 km (474 mi). Perigee: 756 km (469 mi). Inclination: 98.5000 deg. Period: 100.00 min. Satellite built by the ESIEES school in Paris to observe radio emissions from Jupiter..

1991 August 30 - . 02:30 GMT - . Launch Site: Kagoshima. Launch Complex: Kagoshima M. Launch Pad: M1. LV Family: Mu. Launch Vehicle: Mu-3S-II.
  • Solar-A - . Payload: Yohkoh. Mass: 420 kg (920 lb). Nation: Japan. Agency: ISAS. Class: Astronomy. Type: Solar satellite. Spacecraft: Yohkoh. Decay Date: 2005-09-12 . USAF Sat Cat: 21694 . COSPAR: 1991-062A. Apogee: 754 km (468 mi). Perigee: 516 km (320 mi). Inclination: 31.3000 deg. Period: 97.40 min. X-ray imaging of Sun..

1992 June 7 - . 16:40 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC17A. LV Family: Thor. Launch Vehicle: Delta 6920-10.
  • EUVE - . Mass: 3,275 kg (7,220 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: NASA Greenbelt. Class: Astronomy. Type: X-ray astronomy satellite. Spacecraft Bus: MMS. Spacecraft: EUVE. Decay Date: 2002-01-31 . USAF Sat Cat: 21987 . COSPAR: 1992-031A. Apogee: 524 km (325 mi). Perigee: 510 km (310 mi). Inclination: 28.4000 deg. Period: 95.00 min.

    Extreme Ultra-Violet Explorer; mapped galactic EUV sources. The Extreme Ultraviolet Explorer was switched off on February 2, 2001. NASA decided to terminate funding for the mission, even though the spacecraft was still operating well. The sky survey was completed in January 1993 and after that the EUVE was used by guest astronomers for observations of specific targets. The final observations were made on January 26, 2001. After end-of-life tests of the never-used backup high voltage supplies and checking the remaining battery capacity, EUVE was stabilized pointing away from the Sun and sent into safehold at 2359 GMT on January 31. The transmitters were commanded off on February 2.


1993 February 20 - . 02:20 GMT - . Launch Site: Kagoshima. Launch Complex: Kagoshima M. Launch Pad: M1. LV Family: Mu. Launch Vehicle: Mu-3S-II.
  • Asuka - . Payload: Astro D. Mass: 420 kg (920 lb). Nation: Japan. Agency: ISAS. Program: Astro. Class: Astronomy. Type: X-ray astronomy satellite. Spacecraft: Astro. Decay Date: 2001-03-02 . USAF Sat Cat: 22521 . COSPAR: 1993-011A. Apogee: 646 km (401 mi). Perigee: 539 km (334 mi). Inclination: 31.1000 deg. Period: 96.50 min. X-ray imaging and astronomy. Imaging and spectroscopic observations of various astronomical objects (stars and galaxies) in the X-ray band. Launching organization ISAS. Launch time 0200 GMT. Astro-D 'ASCA'..

1993 April 8 - . 05:29 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC39B. Launch Platform: MLP1. LV Family: Shuttle. Launch Vehicle: Space Shuttle.
  • Spartan 201 - . Mass: 1,289 kg (2,841 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: NASA Greenbelt. Program: STS. Class: Astronomy. Type: X-ray astronomy satellite. Spacecraft Bus: Shuttle Attached Payloads. Spacecraft: Spartan. Decay Date: 1993-04-13 . USAF Sat Cat: 22623 . COSPAR: 1993-023B. Apogee: 298 km (185 mi). Perigee: 291 km (180 mi). Inclination: 57.0000 deg. Period: 90.40 min. Studied solar corona and galaxy; deployed from STS-56 4/11/93; Shuttle Point Autonomous Research Tool for Astronomy; retrieved 4/13/93..

1993 April 25 - . 13:56 GMT - . Launch Site: Point Arguello. Launch Complex: Point Arguello WADZ. Launch Pad: Aircraft from Edwards.. Launch Platform: NB-52 008. Launch Vehicle: Pegasus.
  • Alexis - . Payload: Alexis (P 89-1B). Mass: 115 kg (253 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: USAF STP. Class: Astronomy. Type: X-ray astronomy satellite. Spacecraft: Alexis. USAF Sat Cat: 22638 . COSPAR: 1993-026A. Apogee: 746 km (463 mi). Perigee: 741 km (460 mi). Inclination: 69.8000 deg. Period: 99.70 min. Test of X-ray imaging sensors; solar array deployment malfunction. Spacecraft engaged in research and exploration of the upper atmosphere or outer space (US Cat B). Air dropped in Point Arguello WADZ..

1993 September 12 - . 11:45 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC39B. Launch Platform: MLP3. LV Family: Shuttle. Launch Vehicle: Space Shuttle.
  • ORFEUS-SPAS - . Payload: ASTRO-SPAS 01. Mass: 3,202 kg (7,059 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: DARA. Class: Astronomy. Type: X-ray astronomy satellite. Spacecraft Bus: Shuttle Attached Payloads. Spacecraft: SPAS. Decay Date: 1993-09-22 . USAF Sat Cat: 22798 . COSPAR: 1993-058C. Apogee: 331 km (205 mi). Perigee: 301 km (187 mi). Inclination: 28.5000 deg. Period: 90.90 min. Deployed from STS-51..

1994 September 9 - . 22:22 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC39B. Launch Platform: MLP2. LV Family: Shuttle. Launch Vehicle: Space Shuttle.
  • Spartan 201 - . Mass: 1,288 kg (2,839 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: NASA Greenbelt. Program: STS. Class: Astronomy. Type: X-ray astronomy satellite. Spacecraft Bus: Shuttle Attached Payloads. Spacecraft: Spartan. Decay Date: 1994-09-20 . USAF Sat Cat: 23253 . COSPAR: 1994-059B. Apogee: 265 km (164 mi). Perigee: 252 km (156 mi). Inclination: 57.0000 deg. Period: 89.68 min. Deployed from STS-64 9/13/94; retrieved 9/15/94; solar studies..

1995 February 3 - . 05:22 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC39B. Launch Platform: MLP2. LV Family: Shuttle. Launch Vehicle: Space Shuttle.
  • Spartan 204 - . Mass: 1,195 kg (2,634 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: NRL. Program: STS. Class: Astronomy. Type: X-ray astronomy satellite. Spacecraft Bus: Shuttle Attached Payloads. Spacecraft: Spartan. Decay Date: 1995-02-11 . USAF Sat Cat: 23470 . COSPAR: 1995-004B. Apogee: 389 km (241 mi). Perigee: 388 km (241 mi). Inclination: 51.7000 deg. Period: 92.30 min. Retrievable payload to observe galactic dust in far UV; deployed from STS 63 2/7/95, retrieved 2/9/95..

1995 September 7 - . 15:09 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC39A. Launch Platform: MLP1. LV Family: Shuttle. Launch Vehicle: Space Shuttle.
  • Spartan 201 - . Mass: 1,195 kg (2,634 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: NASA Greenbelt. Program: STS. Class: Astronomy. Type: X-ray astronomy satellite. Spacecraft Bus: Shuttle Attached Payloads. Spacecraft: Spartan. Decay Date: 1995-09-18 . USAF Sat Cat: 23668 . COSPAR: 1995-048B. Apogee: 376 km (233 mi). Perigee: 368 km (228 mi). Inclination: 28.5000 deg. Period: 92.00 min. Released by STS-69 9/8/95; retrieved 9/10/95; examined solar corona..

1995 November 17 - . 01:20 GMT - . Launch Site: Kourou. Launch Complex: Kourou ELA2. LV Family: Ariane. Launch Vehicle: Ariane 44P.
  • ISO - . Mass: 2,500 kg (5,500 lb). Nation: Europe. Agency: ESA. Class: Astronomy. Type: X-ray astronomy satellite. Spacecraft: ISO. Completed Operations Date: 1998-05-16 . USAF Sat Cat: 23715 . COSPAR: 1995-062A. Apogee: 70,504 km (43,809 mi). Perigee: 1,110 km (680 mi). Inclination: 5.1000 deg. Period: 1,417.80 min. Infrared Space Observatory; IR astrophysics. As of 6 September 2001 located at 168.62 deg E drifting at 5.004 deg E per day. As of 2007 Mar 6 located at 167.18W drifting at 5.668E degrees per day..

1995 December 2 - . 08:08 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC36B. LV Family: Atlas. Launch Vehicle: Atlas IIAS.
  • SOHO - . Mass: 1,850 kg (4,070 lb). Nation: Europe. Agency: ESA. Class: Astronomy. Type: X-ray astronomy satellite. Spacecraft: SOHO. USAF Sat Cat: 23726 . COSPAR: 1995-065A. Apogee: 671,400 km (417,100 mi). Perigee: 8,973 km (5,575 mi). Inclination: 29.6000 deg. Period: 29,196.30 min. Solar and Heliospheric Observatory; orbiting at L1 Lagrange point; solar physics. En route Earth-Sun L1 point Earth-Sun L1 libration point transfer trajectory. Inertial trajectory option..

1995 December 30 - . 13:48 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC17A. LV Family: Thor. Launch Vehicle: Delta 7920-10.
  • XTE - . Payload: Rossi X-ray Timing Explorer. Mass: 3,000 kg (6,600 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: NASA Greenbelt. Class: Astronomy. Type: X-ray astronomy satellite. Spacecraft: XTE. USAF Sat Cat: 23757 . COSPAR: 1995-074A. Apogee: 583 km (362 mi). Perigee: 565 km (351 mi). Inclination: 23.0000 deg. Period: 96.10 min. X-ray Timing Explorer; X-ray astronomy..

1996 April 30 - . 04:31 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC36B. LV Family: Atlas. Launch Vehicle: Atlas I.
  • Beppo SAX - . Payload: BeppoSAX. Nation: Italy. Agency: ASI. Class: Astronomy. Type: X-ray astronomy satellite. Spacecraft: SAX. Decay Date: 2003-04-29 . USAF Sat Cat: 23857 . COSPAR: 1996-027A. Apogee: 601 km (373 mi). Perigee: 584 km (362 mi). Inclination: 4.0000 deg. Period: 96.50 min. LEO. Satellite per Astronomia a raggi X; X-ray celestial observatory Launch vehicle put payload into low earth orbit with IFR trajectory option. 100th Atlas-Centaur flight..

1996 May 19 - . 10:30 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC39B. Launch Platform: MLP1. LV Family: Shuttle. Launch Vehicle: Space Shuttle.
  • Spartan 207 - . Mass: 1,195 kg (2,634 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: JPL. Program: STS. Class: Astronomy. Type: X-ray astronomy satellite. Spacecraft Bus: Shuttle Attached Payloads. Spacecraft: Spartan. Decay Date: 1996-05-29 . USAF Sat Cat: 23871 . COSPAR: 1996-032B. Apogee: 288 km (178 mi). Perigee: 278 km (172 mi). Inclination: 39.0000 deg. Period: 90.20 min. LEO. Deployed from STS 77 on 5/20/96; retrieved 5/21/96; deployed IAEsatellite during free flight..

1996 November 4 - . 17:08 GMT - . Launch Site: Wallops Island. Launch Complex: Wallops Island DZ. Launch Pad: RW04/22. Launch Platform: L-1011. LV Family: Pegasus. Launch Vehicle: Pegasus XL. FAILURE: The rocket functioned perfectly but the separation system failed to release the payload.. Failed Stage: P.
  • HETE - . Mass: 124 kg (273 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: NASA Greenbelt. Program: STEDI. Class: Astronomy. Type: X-ray astronomy satellite. Spacecraft: HETE. Decay Date: 2002-04-07 . USAF Sat Cat: 24645 . COSPAR: 1996-061A. Apogee: 555 km (344 mi). Perigee: 487 km (302 mi). Inclination: 38.0000 deg. Period: 95.00 min.

    The High Energy Transient Experiment (HETE) was an international mission led by The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). Its prime objective was to carry out the first multiwavelength study of gamma ray bursts (GRBs) with UV, X-ray, and gamma ray instruments. A unique feature of the mission was its capability to localise bursts with several arcsecond accuracy, in near real-time aboard the spacecraft. These positions were to be transmitted to the ground, and picked up by a global network of primary and secondary ground stations (SGS), enabling sensitive follow-up studies. However the satellite was never released from its payload fitting. Although signals were received, the solar panels could not deploy, and it went silent after a few days when its batteries ran down. Air dropped in Wallops Island DZ.


1996 November 19 - . 19:55 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC39B. Launch Platform: MLP3. LV Family: Shuttle. Launch Vehicle: Space Shuttle.
  • ORFEUS - . Payload: ASTRO-SPAS. Nation: USA. Agency: DLR. Class: Astronomy. Type: X-ray astronomy satellite. Spacecraft: ORFEUS. Decay Date: 1996-12-07 . USAF Sat Cat: 24661 . COSPAR: 1996-065B. Apogee: 359 km (223 mi). Perigee: 346 km (214 mi). Inclination: 28.5000 deg. Period: 91.60 min. Retrieved Dec 4.

1997 February 12 - . 04:50 GMT - . Launch Site: Kagoshima. Launch Complex: Kagoshima M-V. Launch Vehicle: M-V.
  • Haruka - . Payload: MUSES B. Nation: Japan. Agency: ISAS. Manufacturer: NEC. Program: Muses. Class: Astronomy. Type: X-ray astronomy satellite. Spacecraft: Haruka. USAF Sat Cat: 24720 . COSPAR: 1997-005A. Apogee: 21,415 km (13,306 mi). Perigee: 569 km (353 mi). Inclination: 31.4000 deg. Period: 379.30 min.

1997 November 19 - . 19:46 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC39B. Launch Platform: MLP1. LV Family: Shuttle. Launch Vehicle: Space Shuttle.
  • Spartan 201 - . Mass: 1,195 kg (2,634 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: NASA Greenbelt. Program: STS. Class: Astronomy. Type: X-ray astronomy satellite. Spacecraft Bus: Shuttle Attached Payloads. Spacecraft: Spartan. Decay Date: 1997-12-05 . USAF Sat Cat: 25062 . COSPAR: 1997-073B. Apogee: 284 km (176 mi). Perigee: 278 km (172 mi). Inclination: 28.5000 deg. Period: 90.10 min. Retrieved by OV-102 Nov 25.

1998 April 2 - . 02:42 GMT - . Launch Site: Point Arguello. Launch Complex: Point Arguello WADZ. Launch Pad: Aircraft from Vandenberg.. Launch Platform: L-1011. LV Family: Pegasus. Launch Vehicle: Pegasus XL.
  • TRACE - . Nation: USA. Agency: NASA Greenbelt. Program: Small Explorer. Class: Astronomy. Type: Solar satellite. Spacecraft: TRACE. USAF Sat Cat: 25280 . COSPAR: 1998-020A. Apogee: 652 km (405 mi). Perigee: 602 km (374 mi). Inclination: 97.8000 deg. Period: 97.10 min.

    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. Air dropped in Point Arguello WADZ.


1998 October 29 - . 19:19 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC39B. Launch Platform: MLP2. LV Family: Shuttle. Launch Vehicle: Space Shuttle.
  • Spartan 201 - . Mass: 1,195 kg (2,634 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: NASA Greenbelt. Program: STS. Class: Astronomy. Type: X-ray astronomy satellite. Spacecraft Bus: Shuttle Attached Payloads. Spacecraft: Spartan. Decay Date: 1998-11-07 . USAF Sat Cat: 25521 . COSPAR: 1998-064C. Apogee: 560 km (340 mi). Perigee: 549 km (341 mi). Inclination: 28.4000 deg. Period: 95.74 min. Retrieved by Discovery November 3 1998..

1998 December 6 - . 00:57 GMT - . Launch Site: Point Arguello. Launch Complex: Point Arguello WADZ. Launch Pad: Aircraft from Vandenberg.. Launch Platform: L-1011. LV Family: Pegasus. Launch Vehicle: Pegasus XL.
  • SWAS - . Nation: USA. Agency: NASA Greenbelt. Program: Small Explorer. Class: Astronomy. Type: X-ray astronomy satellite. Spacecraft: SWAS. USAF Sat Cat: 25560 . COSPAR: 1998-071A. Apogee: 611 km (379 mi). Perigee: 599 km (372 mi). Inclination: 69.9000 deg. Period: 96.80 min.

    On December 3 the Orbital Sciences L-1011 Stargazer took off from Vandenberg AFB Runway 30/12 carrying a Pegasus XL launch vehicle with the SWAS satellite aboard. It reached the drop box at 36.0N 123.0W over the Pacific, but due to a software-related problem the range ordered the launch scrubbed and the L-1011 returned to base. After a further delay due to weather, the L-1011 took off at 23:58 GMT on December 5 and SWAS reached orbit and separated from the third stage at 01:09 GMT. SWAS, the Sub-millimetre Wave Astronomy Satellite, had a 0.6m telescope with a 490 to 550 GHz sub-millimetre receiver and an acousto-optical spectrometer. SWAS was used to study the cooling of molecular cloud cores, the sites of star formation in our galaxy, by measuring lines from molecular oxygen and water. Air dropped in Point Arguello WADZ.


1999 March 5 - . 02:56 GMT - . Launch Site: Point Arguello. Launch Complex: Point Arguello WADZ. Launch Pad: Aircraft from Vandenberg.. Launch Platform: L-1011. LV Family: Pegasus. Launch Vehicle: Pegasus XL.
  • WIRE - . Nation: USA. Agency: NASA Greenbelt. Class: Astronomy. Type: X-ray astronomy satellite. Spacecraft: WIRE. Decay Date: 2011-05-10 . USAF Sat Cat: 25646 . COSPAR: 1999-011A. Apogee: 582 km (361 mi). Perigee: 537 km (333 mi). Inclination: 97.5000 deg.

    NASA's long-delayed WIRE (Wide Field Infrared Explorer) astronomy satellite was the fifth Small Explorer (SMEX) mission managed by NASA-Goddard. The L-1011 Stargazer launch aircraft took off from Vandenberg's runway 30/12 at 01:55 GMT on March 2 for the first launch attempt. The planned 02:56 GMT launch was cancelled at T-46 seconds due to a problem with the tail fin release mechanism of the Pegasus XL launch vehicle. The second attempt was successful, with the Pegaus XL being dropped at 36 degrees N x 123 degrees W over the Pacific Ocean at 02:56 GMT. However the WIRE ran into serious trouble shortly after orbit injection. The cover of the solid hydrogen telescope ejected prematurely, and the cryogenic coolant evaporated and vented, spinning the satellite out of control. WIRE was going to make an infrared photometry survey, generating a large catalog of galaxies and quasars. Air dropped in Point Arguello WADZ.


1999 April 28 - . 20:30 GMT - . Launch Site: Kapustin Yar. Launch Complex: Kapustin Yar LC107/1. Launch Pad: LC107/pad?. LV Family: R-14. Launch Vehicle: Kosmos 11K65M.
  • ABRIXAS - . Mass: 470 kg (1,030 lb). Nation: Germany. Agency: DLR. Manufacturer: Bremen. Class: Astronomy. Type: X-ray astronomy satellite. Spacecraft: ABRIXAS. USAF Sat Cat: 25721 . COSPAR: 1999-022A. Apogee: 407 km (252 mi). Perigee: 393 km (244 mi). Inclination: 48.4500 deg. Period: 92.57 min. X-ray astronomy satellite with the mission to carry out an all-sky survey in the 1-10 keV band. The satellite's battery failed and contact was lost on May 1..

1999 June 24 - . 15:44 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC17A. Launch Pad: SLC17A. LV Family: Thor. Launch Vehicle: Delta 7320-10.
  • FUSE - . Nation: USA. Agency: NASA Greenbelt. Manufacturer: Germantown. Class: Astronomy. Type: X-ray astronomy satellite. Spacecraft Bus: MidStar. Spacecraft: FUSE. USAF Sat Cat: 25791 . COSPAR: 1999-035A. Apogee: 760 km (470 mi). Perigee: 745 km (462 mi). Inclination: 25.0000 deg. Period: 99.90 min.

    The Delta 3-m payload fairing was successfully jettisoned and the Far Ultraviolet Spectroscopic Explorer was placed in a 754 km x 769 km x 25.0 degree initial orbit. After separation the Delta second stage then a depletion burn and was left in a 182 x 915 km x 19.1 degree orbit from which it would quickly decay out of orbit. Checkout of FUSE in orbit was proceeding well as of July 1.


1999 July 23 - . 04:31 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC39B. Launch Platform: MLP1. LV Family: Shuttle. Launch Vehicle: Space Shuttle.
  • Chandra - . Payload: OV-102. Nation: USA. Agency: NASA Huntsville. Manufacturer: TRW. Class: Astronomy. Type: X-ray astronomy satellite. Spacecraft: Chandra. USAF Sat Cat: 25867 . COSPAR: 1999-040B. Apogee: 128,769 km (80,013 mi). Perigee: 20,046 km (12,455 mi). Inclination: 45.1000 deg. Period: 3,808.60 min.

    The Chandra Advanced X-ray Astrophysics Facility was one of NASA’s four Great Observatories (along with Hubble Space Telescope, Compton Gamma Ray Observatory, and the SIRTF). Chandra will study the composition and nature of galaxies, stellar objects and interstellar phenomena as well as basic issues in theoretical physics using the most sensitive X-ray telescope ever built. The IUS under-performed and placed Chandra in an orbit about 900 km lower than planned. Therefore Chandra's own IPS propulsion system had to be used to make up the difference. The first such manoeuvre was at 01:11 GMT on July 25 when the IPS engines fired for 5 minutes to raise perigee to 1192 km. Further perigee burns on July 31, August 4, and August 7 raised the orbit to its final 10,000 km x 140.000 km. Additional Details: here....


1999 December 10 - . 14:32 GMT - . Launch Site: Kourou. Launch Complex: Kourou ELA3. LV Family: Ariane 5. Launch Vehicle: Ariane 5G.
  • XMM - . Mass: 3,764 kg (8,298 lb). Nation: Europe. Agency: ESA. Manufacturer: Friedrichshafen. Class: Astronomy. Type: X-ray astronomy satellite. Spacecraft: XMM. USAF Sat Cat: 25989 . COSPAR: 1999-066A. Apogee: 104,406 km (64,874 mi). Perigee: 16,709 km (10,382 mi). Inclination: 62.5000 deg. Period: 2,872.40 min. ESA's X-ray Multi-Mirror space observatory was the biggest science satellite ever built in Europe. Complementary in characteristics to NASA's Chandra satellite, the spacecraft were expected to make major new astronomical discoveries..

2000 February 10 - . 01:30 GMT - . Launch Site: Kagoshima. Launch Complex: Kagoshima M-V. Launch Vehicle: M-V. FAILURE: First stage failure. An anomalous vibration was detected 25 seconds after launch. At 41 seconds ceramic heat shields in the first stage nozzle broke and fell off, and thrust vector control on the nozzle was lost.. Failed Stage: 1.
  • Astro E - . Mass: 1,680 kg (3,700 lb). Nation: Japan. Agency: ISAS. Program: Astro. Class: Astronomy. Type: X-ray astronomy satellite. Spacecraft Bus: Astro. Spacecraft: ASTRO E. COSPAR: F000210A. Apogee: 200 km (120 mi).

    Spacecraft was injected in very low perigee orbit and reentered. X-ray astronomy satellite. Stage 1 lost control, and separated with the rocket off-course at 75 seconds in the flight. Stage 2 burned correctly and separated at 218 seconds, followed by the third stage burn at 621 seconds. Last signals were received at 20 minutes after launch. ASTRO-E was to have separated from the third stage at 23 minutes, but ended in an orbit with a perigee of only 80 km and an apogee of 410 km. It probably reentered on the first orbit at around 0230 - 0300 GMT somewhere between East Africa and western China.


2000 October 9 - . 05:38 GMT - . Launch Site: Kwajalein. Launch Complex: Kwajalein DZ. Launch Pad: RW06/24. Launch Platform: L-1011. LV Family: Pegasus. Launch Vehicle: Pegasus H.
  • HETE-2 - . Mass: 130 kg (280 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: NASA Greenbelt. Manufacturer: MIT. Class: Astronomy. Type: X-ray astronomy satellite. Spacecraft: HETE. USAF Sat Cat: 26561 . COSPAR: 2000-061A. Apogee: 641 km (399 mi). Perigee: 598 km (372 mi). Inclination: 1.9497 deg. Period: 97.02 min.

    First orbital launch from Kwajalein. Second High Energy Transient Explorer; built by MIT using leftover parts from the first HETE. This failed to operate because of a Pegasus adapter failure during launch in November 1996. MIT operates the satellite, while the program is managed by NASA GSFC as an Explorer mission of opportunity. HETE's main instrument is FREGATE, the French Gamma Telescope, a hard X-ray spectrometer operating in the 6 to 400 keV energy range. This gamma ray burst detector, together with a Wide Field X-ray Monitor hard X-ray coded mask telescope, is used to trigger searches with the two Soft X-ray Imagers which have 33-arcsecond spatial resolution. This will let astronomers get precise locations for gamma-ray bursts, allowing detailed follow-up with optical instruments. The satellite is in a 595 x 636 km x 2.0 deg equatorial orbit, and sends data to a network of small ground terminals spaced around the equator. Air dropped in Kwajalein DZ.


2001 February 20 - . 08:48 GMT - . Launch Site: Svobodniy. Launch Complex: Svobodniy LC5. LV Family: Topol'. Launch Vehicle: Start-1.
  • Odin - . Mass: 250 kg (550 lb). Nation: Sweden. Agency: ZAO. Manufacturer: SSC. Class: Astronomy. Type: Infrared astronomy satellite. Spacecraft: Odin. USAF Sat Cat: 26702 . COSPAR: 2001-007A. Apogee: 580 km (360 mi). Perigee: 573 km (356 mi). Inclination: 97.7000 deg. Period: 96.20 min.

    Sweden's Odin scientific satellite carried a submillimeter wave astronomy instrument and a radiometer for atmospheric studies. The 1.1-meter reflector fed 500 GHz and 119 GHz radiometers and was used to study galactic molecular clouds, complementing NASA's SWAS satellite. The Odin satellite was designed and built by the Swedish Space Corporation (Svenska Rymdbolaget or Rymdaktiebolaget). SSC does most of its satellite design and construction in-house, although Saab made the antenna and carried out satellite final assembly. SSC was a goverment-owned company and a contractor for the Rymdstyrelsen (Swedish National Space Board).


2001 June 30 - . 19:46 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC17B. Launch Pad: SLC17B. LV Family: Thor. Launch Vehicle: Delta 7425-10.
  • MAP - . Mass: 840 kg (1,850 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: NASA Greenbelt. Class: Astronomy. Type: Infrared astronomy satellite. Spacecraft: MAP. USAF Sat Cat: 26859 . COSPAR: 2001-027A. Apogee: 379,553 km (235,842 mi). Perigee: 4,704 km (2,922 mi). Inclination: 27.8000 deg. Period: 14,669.70 min.

    NASA's Microwave Anisotropy Probe (MAP) was placed in a 167 x 204 km x 28.8 deg parking orbit at 1958 GMT. At 2104 GMT the second stage ignited again for a 4 second burn, raising the orbit to around 181 x 308 km; the third stage spun up and ignited at 2108 GMT, accelerating MAP to a highly elliptical orbit of 182 x 292,492 km x 28.7 deg. MAP used on-board fuel to tweak the orbit and make a lunar flyby at fourth apogee on July 30, arriving at the L2 Earth-Moon Lagrangian point 1.5 million km from Earth three months later. From L2, MAP was to measure fluctuations in the cosmic 3 Kelvin microwave background with the degree of precision required to answer questions about the big bang and the total mass and fate of the universe. By July 22 the MAP probe was in a 4055 x 355,935 km x 28.0 deg orbit. It flew past the Moon on July 30 at 1639 GMT at an altitude of 5200 km above the lunar surface.


2001 July 31 - . 08:00 GMT - . Launch Site: Plesetsk. Launch Complex: Plesetsk LC32/2. LV Family: R-36. Launch Vehicle: Tsiklon-3.
  • Koronas-F - . Payload: AUOS-SM-KF. Mass: 2,260 kg (4,980 lb). Nation: Russia. Agency: RAKA. Manufacturer: Yuzhnoye. Class: Astronomy. Type: Solar satellite. Spacecraft: AUOS. Decay Date: 2005-12-06 . USAF Sat Cat: 26873 . COSPAR: 2001-032A. Apogee: 529 km (328 mi). Perigee: 486 km (301 mi). Inclination: 82.5000 deg.

    Launch delayed from July 25. Koronas-F was a Russian solar observatory that pointed toward Sun within 10 arc-minutes to conduct a variety of observations. In broad categories, it carried X-ray monitors to locate sources within 1 arc-sec, radio receivers to measure flux and polarization, and particle counters. Additional Details: here....


2001 August 8 - . 16:13 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC17A. Launch Pad: SLC17A. LV Family: Thor. Launch Vehicle: Delta 7326-9.5.
  • Genesis - . Payload: Discovery 5. Mass: 636 kg (1,402 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: JPL, NASA. Manufacturer: Martin. Program: Discovery series. Class: Astronomy. Type: Solar satellite. Spacecraft: Genesis. USAF Sat Cat: 26884 . COSPAR: 2001-034A. Apogee: 1,175,513 km (730,428 mi). Perigee: 213,681 km (132,774 mi). Inclination: 28.0000 deg. Period: 97,345.15 min.

    Launch delayed from February 10 and July 30. The Genesis probe flew to the Earth-Sun L1 Lagrangian point and spend two years collecting samples of the solar wind. The collected samples were to be physically returned to Earth in a sample return capsule (air-snatch recovery was planned over Utah) and analysed in ground-based laboratories. The first burn of the Delta second stage put Genesis in a 185 x 197 km x 28.5 deg parking orbit at 1624 GMT. At 1712 GMT a second burn raised the orbit to 182 x 3811 km, and at 1713 GMT the third stage fired to put Genesis on its trajectory to L1 with a nominal apogee of around 1.2 million km. By the first week of November 2001 Genesis arrived at the Earth-Sun L1 point. A malfunctioning thermal radiator caused some concern for the health of the sample return capsule's critical battery, which was overheating, but Genesis began collecting solar wind samples on schedule.

    On September 8, 2004, the Genesis space probe became the first spacecraft to return from beyond lunar orbit to the Earth's surface. The Genesis Sample Return Capsule separated from the spacecraft on September 8, 66,000 km above the Earth. The capsule successfully re-entered the atmosphere over Oregon at 11 km/s, but a wiring error resulted in the drogue parachute release mortar failing to fire at 33 km altitude. The capsule crashed to earth at 90 m/s in the Dugway Proving Ground at 40 07 40 N 113 30 29 W. Although the vehicle was smashed, some of the samples could be retrieved.


2001 August 20 - . 18:30 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC39A. LV Family: Shuttle. Launch Vehicle: Space Shuttle.
  • Simplesat - . Mass: 52 kg (114 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: NASA. Class: Astronomy. Type: X-ray astronomy satellite. Spacecraft: Simplesat. Decay Date: 2002-01-30 . USAF Sat Cat: 26889 . COSPAR: 2001-035B. Apogee: 135 km (83 mi). Perigee: 130 km (80 mi). Inclination: 51.6000 deg. Period: 87.10 min. Simplesat was small astronomical test satellite ejected from a GAS Cannister in shuttle Discovery's payload bay. No contact was ever made with Simplesat after its release; evidently the satellite failed. .

2001 December 7 - . 15:07 GMT - . Launch Site: Vandenberg. Launch Complex: Vandenberg SLC2W. LV Family: Thor. Launch Vehicle: Delta 7920-10.
  • TIMED - . Mass: 485 kg (1,069 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: CNES, NASA. Manufacturer: Cannes. Class: Astronomy. Type: Solar satellite. Spacecraft: TIMED. USAF Sat Cat: 26998 . COSPAR: 2001-055B. Apogee: 624 km (387 mi). Perigee: 623 km (387 mi). Inclination: 74.1000 deg. Period: 97.20 min.

    TIMED was the first NASA Solar Terrestrial Probe, operated by Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Lab to study the thermosphere, mesosphere and lower ionosphere. TIMED was built in-house at APL and had a mass of 587 kg; the project was managed at NASA-Goddard. It measured solar and auroral energy input, atmospheric cooling rates, and atmospheric composition, temperature and wind profiles.

    Five minutes after deploying the JASON satellite, the DPAF adapter atop the Delta upper stage separated to reveal the TIMED satellite inside it. Burn 3 at 1614 GMT put Delta/TIMED in a descending 636 x 1330 km x 71.3 deg orbit; at perigee at 1706 GMT a fourth burn circularized the orbit at 627 x 640 km x 74.1 deg and TIMED was ejected six minutes later. A final depletion burn left the Delta stage in a low perigee orbit.


2002 February 5 - . 20:58 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Mayport DZ. Launch Pad: 29.0 N x 78.5 W. Launch Platform: L-1011. LV Family: Pegasus. Launch Vehicle: Pegasus XL.
  • HESSI - . Payload: SA-200S. Mass: 449 kg (989 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: NASA. Manufacturer: Gilbert. Class: Astronomy. Type: Solar satellite. Spacecraft Bus: SA-200. Spacecraft: HESSI. USAF Sat Cat: 27370 . COSPAR: 2002-004A. Apogee: 599 km (372 mi). Perigee: 574 km (356 mi). Inclination: 38.0000 deg. Period: 96.40 min.

    HESSI, the sixth Small Explorer, carried a rotating modulation collimator transform telescope, imaging solar flares in the hard X-ray spectrum. The launch marked the return to flight of Pegasus after the Hyper-X failure. The launch was originally to have occurred on 28 March 2001. The L-1011 launch aircraft took off at 19:29 GMT from the Cape Canaveral Skid Strip RW30/12, and headed out to the drop area at 28.0 N 78.5 W over the Atlantic. Drop of the Pegasus in the Atlantic Drop Zone at 28.0 N 78.5 W was at 20:58 GMT, with ignition 5 seconds later. The Pegasus reached orbit at 21:07 GMT. On the first pass it was confirmed that the solar panels had opened.

    The satellite rotated at 15 rpm, imaging by reconstructing the Fourier components from the time modulation of the solar x-ray flux through a set of 9 grids each 9 cm in diameter. It was expected to make images with a resolution of 2 arcseconds at 40 keV energies and 36 arcseconds at 1 MeV energies. The launch delays meant that HESSI missed some of the best flares at solar max. Air dropped in Mayport DZ.


2002 September 5 - .
  • Webb / Next Generation Space Telescope contract award - . Nation: USA. Class: Astronomy. Type: Astronomy satellite. Spacecraft: HST, WST.

    NASA awarded TRW a $824 million contract to build the Next Generation Space Telescope, redesignated the James Webb Space Telescope. TRW beat out Lockheed Martin, builder of the Hubble Space Telescope which the Webb was to replace. Launch of the 6-metre aperture telescope was not expected until 2010 at the earliest.


2002 October 17 - . 04:41 GMT - . Launch Site: Baikonur. Launch Complex: Baikonur LC200/39. LV Family: Proton. Launch Vehicle: Proton-K/17S40.
  • Integral - . Mass: 4,100 kg (9,000 lb). Nation: Europe. Class: Astronomy. Type: Gamma ray astronomy satellite. Spacecraft: Integral. USAF Sat Cat: 27540 . COSPAR: 2002-048A. Apogee: 153,435 km (95,339 mi). Perigee: 9,283 km (5,768 mi). Inclination: 53.4000 deg. Period: 4,310.60 min. INTEGRAL (INTErnational Gamma Ray Astrophysics Laboratory) was a European (ESA) astrophysics satellite. The orbit had a very high apogee to escape magnetospheric radiation..

2003 January 13 - . 00:45 GMT - . Launch Site: Vandenberg. Launch Complex: Vandenberg SLC2W. LV Family: Thor. Launch Vehicle: Delta 7320-10.
  • CHIPSat - . Payload: CHIPSat BD 2. Mass: 85 kg (187 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: NASA. Manufacturer: SpaceDev. Class: Astronomy. Type: X-ray astronomy satellite. Spacecraft: CHIPSat. USAF Sat Cat: 27643 . COSPAR: 2003-002B. Apogee: 601 km (373 mi). Perigee: 585 km (363 mi). Inclination: 94.0070 deg. Period: 96.39 min. Astrophysics mission. Delayed from March 30, May 12, August 30, September 10, December 15 and 20, 2002; and Jan. 11 and 12, 2003..

2003 January 25 - . 20:13 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Mayport DZ. Launch Pad: 29.0 N x 78.5 W. Launch Platform: L-1011. LV Family: Pegasus. Launch Vehicle: Pegasus XL.
  • SORCE - . Payload: Solstice/SAVE. Mass: 268 kg (590 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: NASA. Manufacturer: OSC. Class: Astronomy. Type: Solar satellite. Spacecraft Bus: LEOStar-2. Spacecraft: SORCE. USAF Sat Cat: 27651 . COSPAR: 2003-004A. Apogee: 657 km (408 mi). Perigee: 617 km (384 mi). Inclination: 39.9946 deg. Period: 97.31 min. Solar irradiance monitoring, climatology mission. Launch delayed from December 1 and 13, 2002. Air dropped in Mayport DZ..

2003 April 28 - . 12:00 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Mayport DZ. Launch Pad: 29.0 N x 78.5 W. Launch Platform: L-1011. LV Family: Pegasus. Launch Vehicle: Pegasus XL.
  • Galex - . Mass: 280 kg (610 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: NASA. Manufacturer: OSC. Class: Astronomy. Type: Ultraviolet astronomy satellite. Spacecraft Bus: LEOStar-2. Spacecraft: Galex. Duration: 3,710.00 days. USAF Sat Cat: 27783 . COSPAR: 2003-017A. Apogee: 699 km (434 mi). Perigee: 694 km (431 mi). Inclination: 29.0000 deg. Period: 98.70 min.

    Ultraviolet space telescope. Much delayed launch (from January 19, May 19, July 16, 21 and 30, August 14 and October 17, 2002; January 27, March 25 and 30, April 15 and 26 2003). It was finally switched off on 28 June 2013, following an extra tenth year of observing funded by Caltech. Air dropped in Mayport DZ.


2003 June 30 - . Launch Site: Plesetsk. Launch Complex: Plesetsk LC133/3. LV Family: UR-100N. Launch Vehicle: Rokot.
  • Most - . Mass: 66 kg (145 lb). Nation: Canada. Agency: CSA. Class: Astronomy. Type: Astroseismology satellite. Spacecraft: Most. USAF Sat Cat: 27843 . COSPAR: 2003-031D. Apogee: 834 km (518 mi). Perigee: 818 km (508 mi). Inclination: 98.7000 deg. Period: 101.40 min.

    MOST (Microvariability and Oscillations of Stars) was a Canadian Space Agency project with a 0.15m telescope which would make photometric observations of stars down to mag 6 with 1 part per million accuracy in the 3500-7000 Angstrom band. Canada's tiny "humble space telescope", celebrated its tenth anniversary of operations in 2013.


2003 August 25 - . 05:35 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC17B. Launch Pad: SLC17B. LV Family: Thor. Launch Vehicle: Delta 7920H.
  • SIRTF - . Mass: 923 kg (2,034 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: NASA. Class: Astronomy. Type: Infrared astronomy satellite. Spacecraft: SIRTF. USAF Sat Cat: 27871 . COSPAR: 2003-038A.

    Originally to have launched January 9, 2003. Delayed six times. The Space Infrared Telescope Facility (SIRTF) was the last of NASA's 'Great Observatories'. It had a 0.85-meter infrared telescope, with a liquid-helium cooled focal plane carrying the three main instruments. SIRTF was launched by the second Delta II Heavy. The second stage entered a 166 x 167 km x 31.5 deg Earth parking orbit, and after about 33 minutes of coast, passing south of Madagascar, restarted at 0613 UTC to enter a hyperbolic orbit with a perigee of 170 km, an eccentricity of 1.0061, and a velocity of 11.05 km/s. This placed it in a solar orbit of 0.996 x 1.019 AU x 1.14 deg with a year about 4 days longer than Earth's.


2004 April 20 - . 16:57 GMT - . Launch Site: Vandenberg. Launch Complex: Vandenberg SLC2W. LV Family: Thor. Launch Vehicle: Delta 7920-10C.
  • Gravity Probe B - . Mass: 3,145 kg (6,933 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: NASA. Class: Astronomy. Type: X-ray astronomy satellite. Spacecraft: Gravity Probe-B. USAF Sat Cat: 28230 . COSPAR: 2004-014A. Apogee: 646 km (401 mi). Perigee: 640 km (390 mi). Inclination: 90.0000 deg. Period: 97.60 min.

    Gravity Probe B's mission was to confirm a prediction of Einstein's theory of relativity. The physics experiment, developed by Stanford University and Lockheed Martin, was to observe the magnitude 5 star IM Pegasi for over a year, attempting to measure the tiny shifts in the spacecraft gyroscopes' orientation caused by the Lense-Thirring gravitomagnetic (or `frame-dragging') effect. To accomplish this the spacecraft carried four gyroscopes kept at 1.8 deg Kelvin by a liquid helium dewar, laser retroreflectors and two GPS receivers for orbit determination, a drag compensation system, and a 14 cm aperture quartz telescope. The satellite was also to make an accurate measurement of the already-established gravitostatic warping of spacetime due to the Earth's mass.


2004 November 20 - . 17:16 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC17A. Launch Pad: SLC17A. LV Family: Thor. Launch Vehicle: Delta 7320-10C.
  • Swift - . Payload: SA-200LL. Mass: 1,331 kg (2,934 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: NASA. Manufacturer: Gilbert. Class: Astronomy. Type: Gamma ray astronomy satellite. Spacecraft Bus: SA-200. Spacecraft: Swift. USAF Sat Cat: 28485 . COSPAR: 2004-047A. Apogee: 604 km (375 mi). Perigee: 584 km (362 mi). Inclination: 20.6000 deg. Period: 96.60 min. NASA Medium-class Explorer satellite dedicated to study of gamma ray bursts, the third after the IMAGE and WMAP satellites. Delayed from December 5 and 29, 2003, January 14, April 29, July 15, September 1, October 7 and 26, November 8, 11, 17, 18 and 19..

2005 July 10 - . 03:30 GMT - . Launch Site: Kagoshima. Launch Complex: Kagoshima M-V. Launch Vehicle: M-V.
  • Suzaku - . Payload: Astro E2. Mass: 1,680 kg (3,700 lb). Nation: Japan. Agency: JAXA. Manufacturer: Toshiba. Class: Astronomy. Type: X-ray astronomy satellite. Spacecraft Bus: Astro. Spacecraft: ASTRO E. USAF Sat Cat: 28773 . COSPAR: 2005-025A. Apogee: 573 km (356 mi). Perigee: 562 km (349 mi). Inclination: 31.4000 deg. Period: 96.00 min.

    Delayed from February, June 26, July 6 and 8, 2005. CUTE-1.7 nanosat mistakenly reported on this flight. Astro-E2 was renamed Suzaku (after a legendary red bird) after launch. It replaced the Astro-E, which never reached orbit due to an M-V-4 launch failure in 2000. The satellite had five 0.4-meter diameter X-ray telescopes, one with an XRS microcalorimeter and the other four with X-ray CCD cameras. However it was revealed that the XRS failed on 9 August due to leaking of helium coolant.


2006 February 21 - . 21:28 GMT - . Launch Site: Kagoshima. Launch Complex: Kagoshima M-V. Launch Vehicle: M-V.
  • Astro F (Akari) - . Mass: 960 kg (2,110 lb). Nation: Japan. Agency: JAXA. Manufacturer: Toshiba. Program: Astro. Class: Astronomy. Type: Infrared astronomy satellite. Spacecraft Bus: Astro. Spacecraft: Akari. USAF Sat Cat: 28939 . COSPAR: 2006-005A. Apogee: 719 km (446 mi). Perigee: 705 km (438 mi). Inclination: 98.2000 deg. Period: 99.00 min. Carried a 0.67m-diameter liquid-helium-cooled infrared telescope with detectors ranging from the near infrared to 60 and 170 micron channels in the far IR. It was to carry out the first far infrared sky survey since IRAS in 1983..

2006 September 22 - . 21:36 GMT - . Launch Site: Kagoshima. Launch Complex: Kagoshima M-V. Launch Vehicle: M-V.
  • Hinode (Solar B) - . Mass: 870 kg (1,910 lb). Nation: Japan. Agency: JAXA. Manufacturer: Melco. Class: Astronomy. Type: Solar satellite. Spacecraft: Hinode. USAF Sat Cat: 29479 . COSPAR: 2006-041A. Apogee: 695 km (431 mi). Perigee: 674 km (418 mi). Inclination: 98.1000 deg. Period: 98.50 min. Solar satellite with a large optical telescope and an X-ray telescope built by the Smithsonian Observatory..

2006 October 26 - . 00:52 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC17B. Launch Pad: SLC17B. LV Family: Thor. Launch Vehicle: Delta 7925-10L.
  • Stereo Ahead - . Mass: 1,240 kg (2,730 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: Seal Beach. Class: Astronomy. Type: Solar satellite. Spacecraft: Stereo. USAF Sat Cat: 29510 . COSPAR: 2006-047A.

    The booster was used to put the twin spacecraft in a 182 km x 403,810 km x 28.5 deg lunar transfer orbit. They would use a series of lunar flybys to eventually place themselves in two different solar orbits: Stereo Ahead in a 0.95 AU x 0.97 AU x 0.12 Deg / 344 day orbit around the Sun leading the Earth, and Stereo Behind in a 0.99 AU x 1.09 AU x 0.03 deg / 389 day orbit trailing the Earth. The satellites were equipped with optical, ultraviolet, radio, and particle sensors that would allow them to form a three-dimensional image of the sun's corona using identical sensors from two vantage points at the same moment.

  • Stereo Behind - . Nation: USA. Agency: Seal Beach. Class: Astronomy. Type: Solar satellite. Spacecraft: Stereo. USAF Sat Cat: 29511 . COSPAR: 2006-047B.

    Communications with the STEREO-B science craft in solar orbit had been lost on 2014 Oct 1 for unknown reasons; by 2016 it was assumed the mission had been lost, but on Aug 21 the big DSS-14 dish at Goldstone picked up a signal from it. This was great news for the heliophysics community, but attempts to recover full communications with the tumbling and underpowered spacecraft have met with mixed success, and as of Oct 11 recovery attempts were scaled back until STEREO-B drifts into a more favorable attitude and orbital position.


2006 December 27 - . 14:23 GMT - . Launch Site: Baikonur. Launch Complex: Baikonur LC31. LV Family: R-7. Launch Vehicle: Soyuz-2-1B.
  • Corot - . Mass: 640 kg (1,410 lb). Nation: France. Agency: CNES. Manufacturer: Alenia. Class: Astronomy. Type: X-ray astronomy satellite. Spacecraft Bus: Proteus. Spacecraft: Corot. USAF Sat Cat: 29678 . COSPAR: 2006-063A. Apogee: 902 km (560 mi). Perigee: 898 km (557 mi). Inclination: 90.0000 deg. Period: 103.00 min.

    European COnvection ROtation and planetary Transits satellite, designed to detect transits of planets down to earth size as they pass in front of their stars, and convection currents on stellar surfaces. The satellite was to use its 27-cm-diameter telescope to scan 120,000 stars during its 30-month mission. This was the first flight of the Soyuz-2 booster with the improved RD-0124 third stage engine.


2007 April 23 - . 10:00 GMT - . Launch Site: Sriharikota. Launch Complex: Sriharikota SLP. Launch Vehicle: PSLV.
  • AGILE - . Mass: 352 kg (776 lb). Nation: Italy. Agency: ASI. Manufacturer: Carlo Gavazzi. Class: Astronomy. Type: X-ray astronomy satellite. Spacecraft Bus: MITA. Spacecraft: AGILE. USAF Sat Cat: 31135 . COSPAR: 2007-013A. Apogee: 553 km (343 mi). Perigee: 523 km (324 mi). Inclination: 2.5000 deg. Period: 95.40 min.

    The PSLV-C8 launch vehicle flew for the first time in a light configuration with no strap-on motors and a Dual Launch Adapter. The Italian gamma-ray observatory satellite (Astrorivelatore Gamma ad Imagini Leggero) carried the GRID 0.3-200 MeV wide-field gamma ray camera and the Super-AGILE 15-45 keV detector hard X-ray detector.


2008 April 28 - . 03:53 GMT - . Launch Site: Sriharikota. Launch Complex: Sriharikota SLP. Launch Vehicle: PSLV.
  • AAUSat-II - . Mass: 1.00 kg (2.20 lb). Nation: Denmark. Agency: ISRO. Class: Astronomy. Type: X-ray astronomy satellite. Spacecraft: Cubesat. USAF Sat Cat: 32788 . COSPAR: 2008-021F. Apogee: 636 km (395 mi). Perigee: 614 km (381 mi). Inclination: 98.0000 deg. Period: 97.20 min. University of Aalborg 1U cubesat; carried a gamma ray burst detector for the Danish National Space Center. Successful..

2008 June 11 - . 16:05 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC17B. Launch Pad: SLC17B. LV Family: Thor. Launch Vehicle: Delta 7920H.
  • Fermi Gamma Ray Space Telescope - . Payload: SA-200HP. Mass: 500 kg (1,100 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: Martin. Class: Astronomy. Type: Gamma ray astronomy satellite. Spacecraft: SA-200. USAF Sat Cat: 33053 . COSPAR: 2008-029A. Apogee: 562 km (349 mi). Perigee: 542 km (336 mi). Inclination: 25.6000 deg. Period: 95.70 min. Gamma-ray Large Area Space Telescope; renamed Fermi GST after launch..

2008 October 19 - . 17:47 GMT - . Launch Site: Kwajalein. Launch Complex: Kwajalein DZ. Launch Pad: RW06/24. Launch Platform: L-1011. LV Family: Pegasus. Launch Vehicle: Pegasus XL.
  • IBEX - . Mass: 107 kg (235 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: NASA. Manufacturer: OSC. Class: Astronomy. Type: X-ray astronomy satellite. Spacecraft: Microstar. USAF Sat Cat: 33401 . COSPAR: 2008-051A. Apogee: 281,252 km (174,761 mi). Perigee: 69,563 km (43,224 mi). Inclination: 19.2300 deg. Period: 12,855.81 min. Interstellar Boundary Explorer. Mission was to map, from its high earth orbit, the boundary of the heliosphere, the point at the limits of the solar system where the solar wind is overcome by the interstellar medium. Air dropped in Kwajalein DZ..

2009 January 30 - . Launch Site: Plesetsk. Launch Complex: Plesetsk LC32/2. LV Family: R-36. Launch Vehicle: Tsiklon-3.
  • Koronas-Foton - . Payload: AUOS-SM-KF. Mass: 1,900 kg (4,100 lb). Nation: Russia. Agency: RAKA. Manufacturer: Yuzhnoye. Class: Astronomy. Type: Solar satellite. Spacecraft: AUOS. USAF Sat Cat: 33504 . COSPAR: 2009-003A. Apogee: 561 km (348 mi). Perigee: 539 km (334 mi). Inclination: 82.5000 deg. Period: 95.70 min.

    Carried ten instruments to study in the sun throughout the electromagnetic spectrum, primarily Russian: Natalya-2M spectrometer; RT-2 gamma-telescope (India); Pingvin-M polarimeter; Konus-RF x-ray and gamma spectrometer; BRM x-ray detector; FOKA UV-detector; TESIS telescope/spectrometer with SphinX soft X-ray spectrophotometer (Poland); Electron-M-Peska charged particles analyser; STEP-F Electron and proton detector(Ukraine); SM-8M magnetometer. Follow-up to 2001 Koronas-F launch.


2009 March 7 - . 03:50 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC17B. Launch Pad: SLC17B. LV Family: Thor. Launch Vehicle: Delta 7925-10L.
  • Kepler - . Mass: 1,050 kg (2,310 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: Martin. Class: Astronomy. Type: Interstellar planetary detection satellite. Spacecraft: Kepler. USAF Sat Cat: 34380 . COSPAR: 2009-011A.

    Used a 0.95-meter aperture differential photometer with a 105 deg2 field of view to constantly view 145,000 main-sequence stars, detecting planets orbiting around those stars when the planets passed in front of them, dimming them during transit. In its first three years of operation, Kepler detected over 2,000 possible planets, and it was determined that 5.4% of all stars host Earth-size planet candidates, and that 17% of all stars had planets.


2009 May 14 - . 13:12 GMT - . Launch Site: Kourou. Launch Complex: Kourou ELA3. LV Family: Ariane 5. Launch Vehicle: Ariane 5ECA.
  • Herschel - . Mass: 3,400 kg (7,400 lb). Nation: Europe. Agency: Arianespace. Class: Astronomy. Type: Infrared astronomy satellite. Spacecraft: Herschel. USAF Sat Cat: 34937 . COSPAR: 2009-026A.

    Carried Far Infra Red and Submillimeter Telescope. After completing a successful mission, the spacecraft was sent into solar orbit and was deactivated. Herschel departed L2 on 1 April 2013 and was turned off on 17 June in a 1.04 AU x 1.06 AU x 0.19 deg inclination solar orbit.

  • Planck - . Mass: 1,940 kg (4,270 lb). Nation: Europe. Agency: Arianespace. Class: Astronomy. Type: Microwave astronomy satellite. Spacecraft: Planck. USAF Sat Cat: 34938 . COSPAR: 2009-026B.

    Cosmic background radiation anisotropy satellite, carried a telescope with a primary mirror of 1.5 meter in size. Mission was to measure the fine structure of the temperature of the cosmic microwave background radiation over the whole sky, leading to a better understanding of conditions at the time of the big bang. After completing a successful mission, the spacecraft was sent into solar orbit and was deactivated. Planck departed L2 on 14 August 2013 and was turned off on 23 October in a 1.00 AU x 1.10 AU x 0.1 deg inclination solar orbit.


2009 December 14 - . 14:09 GMT - . Launch Site: Vandenberg. Launch Complex: Vandenberg SLC2W. LV Family: Thor. Launch Vehicle: Delta 7320-10C.
  • WISE - . Mass: 674 kg (1,485 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: Martin. Class: Astronomy. Type: Infrared astronomy satellite. Spacecraft: RS-300. USAF Sat Cat: 36119 . COSPAR: 2009-071A. Apogee: 532 km (330 mi). Perigee: 527 km (327 mi). Inclination: 97.5000 deg. Period: 95.20 min.

    Wide Field Infrared Explorer astronomy satellite, designed to conduct an all-sky survey at infrared frequencies of 3.4, 4.6, 12 and 22 microns, detecting objects 100 times fainter than the earlier IRAS and Akari satellites. Primary instrument is a 40 cm telescope cooled to 12 K by a cryostat filled with solid hydrogen. The survey was expected to detect tens of thousands of new asteroids, brown dwarf stars, and planets orbiting nearby stars.


2010 February 11 - . 15:23 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC41. Launch Pad: SLC41. LV Family: Atlas V. Launch Vehicle: Atlas V 401.
  • SDO - . Mass: 3,200 kg (7,000 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: Martin. Class: Astronomy. Type: Solar satellite. Spacecraft: SDO. USAF Sat Cat: 36395 . COSPAR: 2010-005A. Apogee: 35,800 km (22,200 mi). Perigee: 35,773 km (22,228 mi). Inclination: 28.0000 deg. Period: 1,436.10 min.

    Solar Dynamics Observatory. The Centaur AV-021 upper stage moved from an initial 175 km x 3706 km x 28.7 deg parking orbit to a 2480 km x 35369 km x 28.6 deg transfer orbitand then released the satellite, which used its own R4D thruster to reach geosynchronous orbit.


2010 June 15 - . 14:42 GMT - . Launch Site: Dombarovskiy. LV Family: R-36M. Launch Vehicle: Dnepr.
  • Picard - . Mass: 100 kg (220 lb). Nation: France. Agency: Makeyev bureau. Class: Astronomy. Type: Solar satellite. Spacecraft: Myriade. USAF Sat Cat: 36598 . COSPAR: 2010-028A. Apogee: 730 km (450 mi). Perigee: 725 km (450 mi). Inclination: 98.3000 deg. Period: 99.30 min. Solar observation payload..

2011 July 18 - . 02:31 GMT - . Launch Site: Baikonur. Launch Complex: Baikonur LC45/1. LV Family: Zenit. Launch Vehicle: Zenit-3SLBF.
  • Spektr R - . Mass: 3,660 kg (8,060 lb). Nation: Russia. Class: Astronomy. Type: Radio astronomy satellite.. Spacecraft: Navigator bus. USAF Sat Cat: 37755 . COSPAR: 2011-037A. Apogee: 303,108 km (188,342 mi). Perigee: 27,499 km (17,087 mi). Inclination: 58.4500 deg. Period: 11,799.00 min. Russian astronomical space observatory. Carried 10m diameter radio telescope observing at 92, 18, 6 and 1.35 cm wavelengths; solar wind and cosmic dust detectors; and laser corner reflectors for tracking..

2012 June 13 - . 16:00 GMT - . Launch Site: Kwajalein. Launch Complex: Kwajalein DZ. Launch Pad: RW06/24. Launch Platform: L-1011. LV Family: Pegasus. Launch Vehicle: Pegasus XL.
  • Nustar - . Payload: Leostar. Mass: 360 kg (790 lb). Nation: USA. Class: Astronomy. Type: X-ray astronomy satellite. Spacecraft: SA-200. USAF Sat Cat: 38358 . COSPAR: 2012-031A. Apogee: 632 km (392 mi). Perigee: 614 km (381 mi). Inclination: 6.0000 deg. Period: 97.20 min. Hard X-ray observatory with ten-meter mast. Air dropped in Kwajalein Drop Zone..

2012 September 13 - . 21:39 GMT - . Launch Site: Vandenberg. Launch Complex: Vandenberg SLC3E. LV Family: Atlas V. Launch Vehicle: Atlas V 401.
  • CXBN - . Mass: 3.00 kg (6.60 lb). Nation: USA. Class: Astronomy. Type: X-ray astronomy satellite. Spacecraft: Cubesat. USAF Sat Cat: 38762 . COSPAR: 2012-048E. Morehead State University, Kentucky cosmic hard X-ray background radiation experiment..

2013 February 25 - . 12:31 GMT - . Launch Site: Sriharikota. Launch Complex: Sriharikota PSLV. Launch Vehicle: PSLV.
  • NEOSSat - . Mass: 65 kg (143 lb). Nation: Canada. Class: Astronomy. Type: Astronomy satellite. Spacecraft: Multi-Mission Microsatellite Bus. USAF Sat Cat: 39089 . COSPAR: 2013-009D. Apogee: 786 km (488 mi). Perigee: 771 km (479 mi). Inclination: 98.6300 deg. Period: 100.43 min. Near Earth Object Surveillance Satellite, joint Canadian Space Agency/DRDC mission to survey asteroids and space debris, also with a 0.15m telescope..
  • TUGSAT-1 - . Payload: BRITE-A. Mass: 10 kg (22 lb). Nation: Austria. Class: Astronomy. Type: Astronomy satellite. Spacecraft: Toronto GNB. USAF Sat Cat: 39091 . COSPAR: 2013-009F. Apogee: 784 km (487 mi). Perigee: 770 km (470 mi). Inclination: 98.6300 deg. Period: 100.38 min. Satellite based on the Toronto Generic Nanosatellite Bus, built by the Technical University of Graz, Austra with help from UTIAS. Carried an 0.03m telescope-photometer for stellar photometry and astroseismology..
  • UniBRITE - . Payload: BRITE-U. Mass: 10 kg (22 lb). Nation: Austria. Class: Astronomy. Type: Astronomy satellite. Spacecraft: Toronto GNB. USAF Sat Cat: 39092 . COSPAR: 2013-009G. Apogee: 783 km (486 mi). Perigee: 771 km (479 mi). Inclination: 98.6300 deg. Period: 100.39 min. Nanosatellite built by UTIAS for the University of Vienna, Austria. Carried an 0.03m telescope-photometer for stellar photometry and astroseismology..

2013 June 28 - . 02:27 GMT - . Launch Site: Vandenberg. Launch Platform: L-1011. LV Family: Pegasus. Launch Vehicle: Pegasus XL.
  • IRIS - . Mass: 200 kg (440 lb). Nation: USA. Class: Astronomy. Type: Solar satellite. Spacecraft: IRIS Interface Region Imaging Spectrograph. USAF Sat Cat: 39197 . COSPAR: 2013-033A. Apogee: 663 km (411 mi). Perigee: 622 km (386 mi). Inclination: 97.9000 deg. Period: 97.56 min.

    NASA Small Explorer program; the IRIS Interface Region Imaging Spectrograph was designed to obtain high resolution (0.3 arcseconds) high cadence (1 second intervals) imaging and spectra of the sun with its 20-cm telescope, in two far-UV bands (1332-1358A, 1380-1406A) and one near-UV band (2785-2835A). Air dropped in Point Mugu Drop Zone.


2013 September 14 - . 05:00 GMT - . Launch Site: Kagoshima. LV Family: J-1. Launch Vehicle: Epsilon.
  • Hisaki - . Payload: SPRINT A. Mass: 340 kg (740 lb). Nation: Japan. Class: Astronomy. Type: Astronomy satellite. Spacecraft: NEXTAR NX-300L. USAF Sat Cat: 39253 . COSPAR: 2013-049A. Apogee: 1,156 km (718 mi). Perigee: 951 km (590 mi). Inclination: 29.7200 deg. Period: 106.27 min.

    Spectroscopic Planet Observatory for Recognition of Interaction of Atmosphere; carryied a 0.20-meter silicon carbide mirror with an extreme ultraviolet spectrometer observing in the 550 to 1450 Angstrom range, used to study the exospheres of planets in our solar system. First launch of Japan's Epsilon solid propellant launch vehicle.


2013 November 21 - . 07:10 GMT - . Launch Site: Dombarovskiy. Launch Pad: xxx. LV Family: R-36M. Launch Vehicle: Dnepr.
  • STSat-3 - . Mass: 170 kg (370 lb). Nation: Korea South. Class: Astronomy. Type: Astronomy satellite. Spacecraft: STSat. USAF Sat Cat: 39422 . COSPAR: 2013-066G. Apogee: 622 km (386 mi). Perigee: 591 km (367 mi). Inclination: 97.7800 deg. Period: 96.83 min.

    Satellite built by KAIST of South Korea, with the MIRIS infrared astronomy experiment (an 8 cm telescope operating at 0.9-2 microns with a 4 degree field of view for spectroscopy of diffuse extended emission), as well as earth imaging and technology payloads.

  • Lem - . Payload: BRITE-PL. Mass: 6.00 kg (13.20 lb). Nation: Poland. Class: Astronomy. Type: Astronomy satellite. Spacecraft: Toronto GNB. USAF Sat Cat: 39431 . COSPAR: 2013-066R. Apogee: 884 km (549 mi). Perigee: 594 km (369 mi). Inclination: 97.7500 deg. Period: 99.59 min. Satellite using Toronto's GNB bus carrying the BRITE-PL astronomical photometry payload for the Polish Academy of Sciences..

2013 December 19 - . 09:12 GMT - . Launch Site: Kourou. Launch Complex: Kourou ELS. LV Family: R-7. Launch Vehicle: Soyuz-ST-B.
  • Gaia - . Mass: 2,000 kg (4,400 lb). Nation: Europe. Class: Astronomy. Type: Astronomy satellite. Spacecraft: Gaia. USAF Sat Cat: 39479 . COSPAR: 2013-074A.

    European Space Agency Gaia spacecraft to measure the three-dimensional positions and velocities of galactic stars, placed in Lagrangian Point 2. As Gaia rotated, a gigapixel detector array consisting of a complex arrangement of mirrors, CCD's, and photometers measured stellar positions, brightness and color; and Doppler shifts of stars with unprecedented accuracy. The Gaia catalog, when it is available in the 2020's, was expected to put the whole field of astrophysics on a firmer footing. Soyuz ST-B with upper stage Fregat-MT No. 1039 from Kourou-Sinnamary. The Fregat upper stage separated from the Soyuz booster at suborbital velocity. It then made a first burn to a 175 x 175 km parking orbit, then reignited for a 16-minute burn from 09:33 GMT to propel Gaia to a 344 km x 962,690 km x 15.0 deg orbit, on its way to the Sun-Earth L2 point. Gaia fired its own propulsion system of 6 10-N thrusters to raise apogee to around 1.5 million km towards midnight; after a few weeks it entered a Lissajous orbit around the L2 point and began observations. Gaia's data will take years to process and was to result in the best yet catalog of galactic stars.


2014 November 6 - . 07:35 GMT - . Launch Site: Dombarovskiy. Launch Complex: Dombarovskiy. Launch Pad: Yasniy. LV Family: R-36M. Launch Vehicle: Dnepr.
  • Tsubame - . Mass: 49 kg (108 lb). Nation: Japan. Class: Astronomy. Type: X-ray astronomy satellite. Spacecraft: Tsubame. USAF Sat Cat: 40302 . COSPAR: 2014-070E. Apogee: 553 km (343 mi). Perigee: 495 km (307 mi). Inclination: 97.4400 deg. Period: 95.11 min. 'Swallow', an astronomy satellite from the Tokyo Institute of Technology and carried a hard X-ray polarimeter to study the polarization of gamma ray bursts. Sun synchronous orbit; 1055 GMT local time of the descending node..

2014 December 3 - . 04:22 GMT - . Launch Site: Tanegashima. Launch Complex: Tanegashima Y. Launch Pad: Tanegashima Y1. LV Family: H-2. Launch Vehicle: H-IIA 202.
  • Hayabusa-2 - . Mass: 590 kg (1,300 lb). Nation: Japan. Class: Astronomy. Type: Space probe. Spacecraft: Hayabusa. USAF Sat Cat: 40319 . COSPAR: 2014-076A. Apogee: -50,912 km (-50,912 mi). Perigee: 245 km (152 mi). Inclination: 29.9000 deg.

    The spacecraft was intended to rendezvous with asteroid 1999 JU3, survey it from orbit, touch down briefly to sample the surface, and return samples to Earth. Launched into a 0.915 AU x 1.089 AU x 6.8 deg solar orbit. Five small, beanbag-like 'target markers' could be ejected onto the surface in advance to help guide the vehicle. Hayabusa-2 also carried three 1 kg class lander/hopper devices, Minerva II-1a, II-1b and II-2, which were to be ejected onto the surface, together with a 10 kg German-built lander called MASCOT. Hayabusa-2 was also to eject a 'Self-Contained Impactor' (SCI) device onto the surface. As the parent spacecraft moved off to the side it would further eject the DCAM-3 camera subsatellite, which would monitor detonation of SCI's high explosive, intended to ram the SCI's body into the asteroid and generate an artificial crater.

  • PROCYON - . Mass: 59 kg (130 lb). Nation: Japan. Class: Astronomy. Type: Space probe. USAF Sat Cat: 40322 . COSPAR: 2014-076D. Apogee: -50,912 km (-50,912 mi). Perigee: 245 km (152 mi). Inclination: 29.9000 deg.

    Small spacecraft experiment to test interplanetary navigation with an ion engine. As of May 2015 the mission plan to perform an Earth swingby followed by flyby of asteroid 2000 DP107 had been abandoned following malfunction of its ion engine. The probe, in solar orbit, continued to make scientific measurements with its ultraviolet camera. Procyon was originally in a 0.9 x 1.1 AU x 6.8 deg solar orbit.


2015 September 17 - . 12:02 GMT - . Launch Site: ISS.
  • S-CUBE - . Mass: 3.00 kg (6.60 lb). Nation: Japan. Class: Astronomy. Type: Astronomy satellite. Spacecraft: Cubesat. Decay Date: 2016-11-23 . USAF Sat Cat: 40898 . COSPAR: 1998-067GY. Apogee: 397 km (246 mi). Perigee: 388 km (241 mi). Inclination: 51.6400 deg. Period: 92.40 min. S-CUBE meteor-observation cubesat from Chiba Institute of Technology; ejected from the J-SSOD deployer on the Kibo robot arm on 17 September..

2015 September 28 - . 04:30 GMT - . Launch Site: Sriharikota. Launch Complex: Sriharikota SLP. Launch Pad: Sriharikota FLP. LV Family: PSLV. Launch Vehicle: PSLV-XL.
  • Astrosat - . Mass: 1,530 kg (3,370 lb). Nation: India. Class: Astronomy. Type: Astronomy satellite. Spacecraft: IRS-1. USAF Sat Cat: 40930 . COSPAR: 2015-052A. Apogee: 650 km (400 mi). Perigee: 632 km (392 mi). Inclination: 5.9900 deg. Period: 97.55 min.

    India's first space astronomy observatory. The satellite carried near and far ultraviolet telescopes, a large X-ray proportional counter array, a soft-X-ray imaging telescope, a hard X-ray coded mask telescope, and a monitor to detect flaring X-ray sources.


2015 December 3 - . 04:04 GMT - . Launch Site: Kourou. Launch Complex: Kourou ZLV. Launch Vehicle: Vega.
  • LISA Pathfinder - . Nation: Europe. Class: Astronomy. Type: Astronomy satellite. Spacecraft: LISA Pathfinder. USAF Sat Cat: 41043 . COSPAR: 2015-070A. Apogee: 24,805 km (15,413 mi). Perigee: 748 km (464 mi). Inclination: 6.0000 deg. En route to L1 Lagrangian point..

2015 December 17 - . 00:12 GMT - . Launch Site: Jiuquan. LV Family: CZ. Launch Vehicle: Chang Zheng 2D.
  • Wukong - . Nation: China. Class: Astronomy. Type: Astronomy satellite. USAF Sat Cat: 41173 . COSPAR: 2015-078A. Apogee: 504 km (313 mi). Perigee: 487 km (302 mi). Inclination: 97.3000 deg.

    China launched the Dark Matter Particle Explorer (DAMPE), given the postlaunch name Wukong ('Monkey King'). DAMPE was a Chinese Academy of Sciences particle physics experiment with a bismuth-germanium oxide calorimeter, and will study electrons, gamma rays and cosmic rays in the GeV to TeV energy range. The satellite has a mass of 1900 kg.


2016 February 17 - . 08:45 GMT - . Launch Site: Tanegashima. LV Family: H-2. Launch Vehicle: H-IIA 202.
  • Hitomi - . Payload: ASTRO-H. Nation: Japan. Class: Astronomy. Type: X-ray astronomy satellite. USAF Sat Cat: 41337 . COSPAR: 2016-012A. Apogee: 580 km (360 mi). Perigee: 565 km (351 mi). Inclination: 31.0000 deg.

    ASTRO-H X-ray astronomy observatory rode H2A No. 30 to a low Earth orbit. It carried an array of five X-ray telescopes. Hitomi suffered a major anomaly on Mar 25 while observing the quasar Markarian 205. At 1910 UTC the satellite started tumbling and then at 0140 UTC Mar 26 the spacecraft partly disintegrated. US tracking found eleven debris objects in orbit. During the next scheduled pass at 0740 UTC, JAXA received only a short burst from the radio beacon and nothing more; three more such beacon detections were obtained up to Mar 28, when the spacecraft fell silent. Ground-based optical observations showed that at least two of the debris objects, 2016-012A and 012L, were bright and tumbling several times a minute. 2016-012A was probably the main spacecraft bus. It's possible that 2016-012L was the extensible optical bench with the HXI cameras, or part of the solar panels.


2016 April 28 - . 02:01 GMT - . Launch Site: Vostochniy. Launch Complex: Vostochniy PU1S. LV Family: R-7. Launch Vehicle: Soyuz-2-1A.
  • Lomonosov - . Payload: MVL 300. Nation: Russia. Class: Astronomy. Type: Astronomy satellite. USAF Sat Cat: 41464 . COSPAR: 2016-026A. Apogee: 486 km (301 mi). Perigee: 471 km (292 mi). Inclination: 97.3000 deg.

    Lomonosov (Mikhailo-Lomonosov-300) science satellite was orbited from the new Vostochniy spaceport. The old GIK-2 (2nd State Test Cosmodrome) at Svobodniy was shut down in 2007; its reopening as Vostochniy marks a planned shift away from the Kazakhstan launch site of Baikonur. Lomonosov's main experiment, TUS, was an ultraviolet camera to observe the flashes from cosmic rays hitting the Earth's upper atmosphere. 2314LT SSO.


2016 May 16 - . 10:05 GMT - . Launch Site: ISS deployed.
  • MinXSS - . Nation: USA. Class: Astronomy. Type: Astronomy satellite. Spacecraft: Cubesat. Decay Date: 2017-01-03 . USAF Sat Cat: 41475 . COSPAR: 1998-067HV. Apogee: 402 km (249 mi). Perigee: 398 km (247 mi). Inclination: 51.6000 deg. U of Colorado cubesat; carried a miniature X-ray solar spectrometer to study the hard X-ray spectra of solar flares..

2016 September 8 - . 23:05 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC41. Launch Pad: Cape Canaveral SLC41. LV Family: Atlas V. Launch Vehicle: Atlas V 411.
  • OSIRIS-REx - . Nation: USA. Class: Astronomy. Type: Space probe. Spacecraft: OSIRIS-Rex. USAF Sat Cat: 41757 . COSPAR: 2016-055A. Apogee: -40,174 km (-40,174 mi). Perigee: 203 km (126 mi). Inclination: 29.5000 deg.

    Asteroid sample return mission launched by a ULA Atlas V. The model 411 vehicle, serial AV-067, injected O-REx on a hyperbolic trajectory; the probe entered a 0.77 x 1.17 AU heliocentric orbit on Sep 12. OSIRIS-REx had a mass of 834 kg, and carried 1230 kg of propellant and a 46 kg sample return capsule identical to the one used by the Stardust mission. OSIRIS-REx was to make an Earth flyby in Sep 2017 to change its orbit to 0.90 x 1.35 AU x 6.4 deg, allowing it to rendezvous with asteroid (101955) Bennu in Aug 2018. The spacecraft was to sample the asteroid and return to Earth in 2023.


2016 November 9 - . 23:42 GMT - . Launch Site: Jiuquan. Launch Complex: Jiuquan SLS-E. LV Family: DF-31. Launch Vehicle: Chang Zheng 11.
  • Maichong Xing SW - . Payload: XPNAV-1. Nation: China. Class: Astronomy. Type: Astronomy satellite. Spacecraft: Cubesat. USAF Sat Cat: 41841 . COSPAR: 2016-066A. Apogee: 512 km (318 mi). Perigee: 493 km (306 mi). Inclination: 97.4000 deg.

    Second launch of the small solid-fuel CZ-11 launch vehicle from Jiuquan. It carried the 240 kg Maichong Xing Shiyan Weixing (Pulse Star Experimental Satellite) which will test the concept of navigation using the signals from X-ray millisecond pulsars. These compact stars spin hundreds of times a second and the X-ray flashes from their magnetic poles swishing past us at that high rate can be used as a very accurate clock, the key component of a GPS-like navigation system. The concept was developed some years ago by the NRL team and it was hoped to use it in future US space systems. The launch also carried four cubesat-class payloads.



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