Encyclopedia Astronautica
Ariel



ariel4.jpg
Ariel 4
American earth magnetosphere satellite. 6 launches, 1962.04.26 (Ariel 1) to 1979.06.02 (Ariel 6). Ionospheric studies; returned X-ray, ionospheric, cosmic ray data.

First Launch: 1962.04.26.
Last Launch: 1979.06.02.
Number: 6 .

More... - Chronology...


Associated Countries
See also
  • Delta The Delta launch vehicle was America's longest-lived, most reliable, and lowest-cost space launch vehicle. Development began in 1955 and it continued in service in the 21st Century despite numerous candidate replacements. More...
  • Scout Solid-fuel, light payload, lower-cost launch vehicle developed by the Air Force and NASA in the late 1950's and used in a variety of configurations over thirty years. Launched from Cape Canaveral, Vandenberg, Wallops Island, and from Italy's equatorial San Marco platform off Kenya. Italy studied but did not develop subsequent upgraded versions. More...

Associated Launch Vehicles
  • Delta American orbital launch vehicle. The Delta launch vehicle was America's longest-lived, most reliable, and lowest-cost space launch vehicle. Delta began as Thor, a crash December 1955 program to produce an intermediate range ballistic missile using existing components, which flew thirteen months after go-ahead. Fifteen months after that, a space launch version flew, using an existing upper stage. The addition of solid rocket boosters allowed the Thor core and Able/Delta upper stages to be stretched. Costs were kept down by using first and second-stage rocket engines surplus to the Apollo program in the 1970's. Continuous introduction of new 'existing' technology over the years resulted in an incredible evolution - the payload into a geosynchronous transfer orbit increasing from 68 kg in 1962 to 3810 kg by 2002. Delta survived innumerable attempts to kill the program and replace it with 'more rationale' alternatives. By 2008 nearly 1,000 boosters had flown over a fifty-year career, and cancellation was again announced. More...
  • Scout American all-solid orbital launch vehicle. Solid-fuel, light payload, lower-cost launch vehicle developed by the Air Force and NASA in the late 1950's and used in a variety of configurations over thirty years. Launched from Cape Canaveral, Vandenberg, Wallops Island, and from Italy's equatorial San Marco platform off Kenya. Italy studied but did not develop subsequent upgraded versions. More...
  • Thor Delta American orbital launch vehicle. Commercial name for the military's Thor-Delta. The name of the Delta second stage eventually was applied to subsequent commercial follow-ons. More...
  • Scout X-3 American all-solid orbital launch vehicle. Four stage vehicle consisting of 1 x Algol 2A + 1 x Castor + 1 x Antares 2 + 1 x Altair More...
  • Scout B American all-solid orbital launch vehicle. Four stage vehicle consisting of 1 x Algol 2B + 1 x Castor 2 + 1 x Antares 2 + 1 x FW4S More...
  • Scout A American all-solid orbital launch vehicle. All-solid low cost lightweight launch vehicle. More...
  • Scout B-1 American all-solid orbital launch vehicle. Four stage vehicle consisting of 1 x Algol 2C + 1 x Castor 2 + 1 x Antares 2 + 1 x Star 20 More...
  • Scout D-1 American all-solid orbital launch vehicle. Four stage vehicle consisting of 1 x Algol 3A + 1 x Castor 2 + 1 x Antares 2 + 1 x Star 20 More...

Associated Manufacturers and Agencies
  • NASA American agency overseeing development of rockets and spacecraft. National Aeronautics and Space Administration, USA, USA. More...

Bibliography
  • McDowell, Jonathan, Jonathan's Space Home Page (launch records), Harvard University, 1997-present. Web Address when accessed: here.
  • JPL Mission and Spacecraft Library, Jet Propulsion Laboratory, 1997. Web Address when accessed: here.
  • McDowell, Jonathan, Launch Log, October 1998. Web Address when accessed: here.
  • NASA Report, Ariel I, the first international satellite. Experimental results, Web Address when accessed: here.
  • NASA Report, Ariel II Engineering Data Analysis Final Report, Web Address when accessed: here.
  • NASA Report, Ariel II Engineering Data Analysis, Phase I, Volume I, Web Address when accessed: here.
  • NASA Report, Ariel II Engineering Data Analysis, Phase I Volume II, Web Address when accessed: here.
  • NASA Report, Ariel II Engineering Data Analysis, Phase II, Web Address when accessed: here.
  • NASA Report, Achieving Ariel II design compatibility, Web Address when accessed: here.
  • NASA Report, Solar Array Regulations of Explorer Satellites XII, XIV, XV, XVIII, XXI, XXVI, XXVIII, and Ariel I, Web Address when accessed: here.
  • NASA Report, Environmental Test Program for Ariel I, Web Address when accessed: here.

Associated Launch Sites
  • Wallops Island Small NASA launch site for sounding rocket launches and occasional Scout launches to orbit. Air launches are conducted from the Drop Zone Wallops Island, 37.00 N 72.0 W. With the last orbital launch in 1985 and the decline in sounding rocket launches, Wallops fell into near-disuse as a launch center. Its fortunes revised with the establishment of Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport in 2005 and orbital launches resumed in 2010. More...
  • Cape Canaveral America's largest launch center, used for all manned launches. Today only six of the 40 launch complexes built here remain in use. Located at or near Cape Canaveral are the Kennedy Space Center on Merritt Island, used by NASA for Saturn V and Space Shuttle launches; Patrick AFB on Cape Canaveral itself, operated the US Department of Defense and handling most other launches; the commercial Spaceport Florida; the air-launched launch vehicle and missile Drop Zone off Mayport, Florida, located at 29.00 N 79.00 W, and an offshore submarine-launched ballistic missile launch area. All of these take advantage of the extensive down-range tracking facilities that once extended from the Cape, through the Caribbean, South Atlantic, and to South Africa and the Indian Ocean. More...
  • Vandenberg Vandenberg Air Force Base is located on the Central Coast of California about 240 km northwest of Los Angeles. It is used for launches of unmanned government and commercial satellites into polar orbit and intercontinental ballistic missile test launches toward the Kwajalein Atoll. More...
  • San Marco In 1962 NASA signed an agreement with the Centro Ricerche Aerospaziali at the University of Rome creating the San Marco program. The purpose of the program was to place an Italian satellite in orbit and to create an Italian equatorial launch site for the Scout rocket. Permission was obtained from Kenya to emplace two modified oil platforms off their coast, on the equator. The Santa Rita platform would serve as a launch control center and would also be used for launch of sounding rockets. The San Marco platform would be dedicated to launch of Scout rockets to orbit. More...
  • Vandenberg SLC5 Scout launch complex. Dedicated Scout launch pad, used during the life of that vehicle from 1962 to 1994. More...
  • Cape Canaveral LC17A Delta launch complex. Part of a dual launch pad complex built for the Thor ballistic missile program in 1956. Pad 17A supported Thor, Delta, and Delta II launches into the 21st Century. More...

Ariel Chronology


1962 April 26 - . 18:00 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC17A. LV Family: Delta. Launch Vehicle: Thor Delta. LV Configuration: Thor Delta 320/D9.
  • Ariel 1 - . Payload: UK 1 (S-51). Mass: 60 kg (132 lb). Nation: UK. Agency: NASA. Class: Earth. Type: Magnetosphere satellite. Spacecraft: Ariel. Decay Date: 1976-03-31 . USAF Sat Cat: 285 . COSPAR: 1962-Omicron-1. Apogee: 1,203 km (747 mi). Perigee: 398 km (247 mi). Inclination: 53.8000 deg. Period: 100.80 min. Summary: Ionospheric studies; returned X-ray, ionospheric, cosmic ray data. Spacecraft engaged in research and exploration of the upper atmosphere or outer space (US Cat B). .

1964 March 27 - . 17:25 GMT - . Launch Site: Wallops Island. Launch Complex: Wallops Island LA3. LV Family: Scout. Launch Vehicle: Scout X-3. LV Configuration: Scout X-3 S127R.
  • Ariel 2 - . Payload: UK 2 (UK-C). Mass: 68 kg (149 lb). Nation: UK. Agency: DSIR. Class: Earth. Type: Magnetosphere satellite. Spacecraft: Ariel. Decay Date: 1967-11-18 . USAF Sat Cat: 771 . COSPAR: 1964-015A. Apogee: 1,349 km (838 mi). Perigee: 287 km (178 mi). Inclination: 51.7000 deg. Period: 101.30 min. Summary: Spacecraft engaged in research and exploration of the upper atmosphere or outer space (US Cat B). .

1967 May 5 - . 16:00 GMT - . Launch Site: Vandenberg. Launch Complex: Vandenberg SLC5. LV Family: Scout. Launch Vehicle: Scout A. LV Configuration: Scout A S155C.
  • Ariel 3 - . Payload: UK 3 (UK-E). Mass: 90 kg (198 lb). Nation: UK. Agency: SRC. Class: Technology. Type: Navigation technology satellite. Spacecraft: Ariel. Decay Date: 1970-12-14 . USAF Sat Cat: 2773 . COSPAR: 1967-042A. Apogee: 604 km (375 mi). Perigee: 499 km (310 mi). Inclination: 80.6000 deg. Period: 95.60 min. Summary: Spacecraft engaged in research and exploration of the upper atmosphere or outer space (US Cat B). .

1971 December 11 - . 20:47 GMT - . Launch Site: Vandenberg. Launch Complex: Vandenberg SLC5. LV Family: Scout. Launch Vehicle: Scout B-1. LV Configuration: Scout B-1-F S183C.
  • Ariel 4 - . Payload: UK 4. Mass: 100 kg (220 lb). Nation: UK. Agency: SRC. Class: Earth. Type: Magnetosphere satellite. Spacecraft: Ariel. Decay Date: 1978-12-12 . USAF Sat Cat: 5675 . COSPAR: 1971-109A. Apogee: 592 km (367 mi). Perigee: 476 km (295 mi). Inclination: 82.0000 deg. Period: 95.30 min. Summary: Ionospheric studies. Spacecraft engaged in research and exploration of the upper atmosphere or outer space (US Cat B). .

1974 October 15 - . 07:47 GMT - . Launch Site: San Marco. LV Family: Scout. Launch Vehicle: Scout B-1. LV Configuration: Scout B-1 S187C.
  • Ariel 5 - . Payload: UK 5. Mass: 129 kg (284 lb). Nation: UK. Agency: SRC. Class: Earth. Type: Magnetosphere satellite. Spacecraft: Ariel. Decay Date: 1980-03-14 . USAF Sat Cat: 7471 . COSPAR: 1974-077A. Apogee: 549 km (341 mi). Perigee: 504 km (313 mi). Inclination: 2.9000 deg. Period: 94.90 min. Summary: X-ray observatory. Cosmic X-ray astronomy. Injection point: 2.7S, 58.2E. Anticipated life: 5 years. Time of launch: 07:47:00.25 GMT. Decay also (belatedly) noted in ST/SG/SER.E/216. .

1979 June 2 - . 23:26 GMT - . Launch Site: Wallops Island. Launch Complex: Wallops Island LA3A. LV Family: Scout. Launch Vehicle: Scout D-1. LV Configuration: Scout D-1 S198C.
  • Ariel 6 - . Payload: UK 6. Mass: 154 kg (339 lb). Nation: UK. Agency: SRC. Class: Earth. Type: Magnetosphere satellite. Spacecraft: Ariel. Decay Date: 1990-09-23 . USAF Sat Cat: 11382 . COSPAR: 1979-047A. Apogee: 383 km (237 mi). Perigee: 372 km (231 mi). Inclination: 55.0000 deg. Period: 92.10 min. Summary: Detection of heavy cosmic particles and X-ray astronomy. Launch time 2326 GMT. Also registered by the United States in ST/SG/SER.E/26, with parameters 97.2 min, 601 x 653 km x 55.0 deg, category A. .

Home - Browse - Contact
© / Conditions for Use