Encyclopedia Astronautica
MicroSat SSTL


British technology satellite. 3 launches, 1981.10.06 (CERISE) to 1990.01.22 (Oscar 14). Original version of the Surrey Microsat bus.

The original microsatellite platform allowed missions of 50 kg total mass. It was superseded by the Microsat-70, which had a modular design allowing satellites of total masses of 50 to 70 kg to be lofted.

Gross mass: 50 kg (110 lb).
First Launch: 1981.10.06.
Last Launch: 1990.01.22.
Number: 3 .

More... - Chronology...


Associated Countries
See also
  • Ariane First successful European commercial launch vehicle, developed from L3S Europa launch vehicle replacement design. Development of the Ariane 1 was authorised in July 1973, took eight years, and cost 2 billion 1986 Euros. More...
  • 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...

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...
  • Kosmos 11K65M Russian orbital launch vehicle. Definitive and prolific production version of satellite launcher based on Yangel R-14 IRBM. After further development at NPO Polyot (Omsk, Chief Designer A S Klinishkov), the modified Kosmos-3M added a restartable second stage with an orientation system. This booster was launched form two 'Cusovaya' launch complexes from 1967. The second stage used low thrust rockets using gas generator output to adjust the final velocity of the stage More...
  • Delta 2310 American orbital launch vehicle. Three stage vehicle consisting of 3 x Castor 2 + 1 x ELT Thor/RS-27 + 1 x Delta P /TR-201 More...
  • Tsiklon-3 Ukrainian orbital launch vehicle. The Tsyklon 3 was developed in 1970-1977 as a part of a program to reduce the number of Soviet booster types. The first two stages were derived from the 8K68 version of the R-36 ICBM, while the restartable third stage was derived from that of the R-36-O. Compared to the Tsyklon 2, the launch vehicle increased payload to 4 metric tons, provided for completely automated launch operations, and had increased orbital injection accuracy. More...
  • Ariane French orbital launch vehicle. First successful European commercial launch vehicle, developed from L3S Europa launch vehicle replacement design. Development of the Ariane 1 was authorised in July 1973, took eight years, and cost 2 billion 1986 Euros. More...
  • Delta 3920 American orbital launch vehicle. Three stage vehicle consisting of 9 x Castor 4A + 1 x ELT Thor/RS-27 + 1 x Delta K More...
  • Ariane 4 French orbital launch vehicle. The ultimate Ariane development. Compared with the Ariane 2/3, the Ariane 4 featured stretched first (61%) and third stages, a strengthened structure, new propulsion bay layouts, new avionics, and the Spelda dual-payload carrier. The basic 40 version used no strap-on motors, while the Ariane 42L, 44L, 42P, 44P, and 44LP versions used varous combinations of solid and liquid propellant strap-on motors). Development was authorised in January 1982, with the objective of increasing payload by 90%. Total development cost 476 million 1986 ECU's. More...
  • Zenit-2 Ukrainian orbital launch vehicle. Two-stage version that continued to be used for launch of Russian military satellites tailored to it after the fall of the Soviet Union. More...
  • R-36M2 15A18M Ukrainian intercontinental ballistic missile. The R-36M2 was the Soviet Union's answer to the American 'Star Wars' anti-ballistic missile system. It was unusually named 'Voevoda' (an old Russian word for the leader of an army) in recognition of its planned role. In the end, it was only deployed in very limited numbers before the end of the Cold War. More...
  • Ariane 40 French orbital launch vehicle. 3 stage core vehicle with original Ariane H10 upper stage. A fully fueled Ariane core cannot lift off the ground without strap-on liquid or solid motors. When Ariane 4 is launched in this configuration, the propellant tanks of the first and second stages are not completely filled. More...
  • Ariane 42P French orbital launch vehicle. Ariane 4 with 2 solid rocket strap-ons. More...
  • Delta 2000 American orbital launch vehicle. The Delta 2000 series used Castor 2 strap-ons together with an Extended Long Tank core equipped with the more powerful RS-27 engine. This engine was derived from surplus H-1 engines intended for the Saturn IB booster of the Apollo programme. The Delta P upper stage was built by Douglas and used surplus Apollo lunar module engines from TRW. More...
  • Delta 3000 American orbital launch vehicle. The Delta 3000 series upgraded the boosters to Castor 4 solid propellant strap-ons, while retaining the Extended Long Tank core with RS-27 engine. The 3910 series used the TRW Lunar Module engine in the second stage, while the 3920 series reintroduced the Aerojet AJ110 Delta engine. More...

Associated Manufacturers and Agencies
  • Surrey British manufacturer of spacecraft. Surrey Satellite Technologies Ltd. , Guildford, UK More...

Associated Programs
  • Oscar Amateur radio satellite network. For over a third of a century a series of OSCAR satellites have been launched in a variety of configurations and by many nations. 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.

Associated Launch Sites
  • 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...
  • Kourou After the agreement with newly independent Algeria for France to evacuate their launch sites in that country, a location near Biscarosse was selected for French missile testing. However since only launches westwards across the Bay of Biscay could be made from this site, it was unsuitable for France's Diamant orbital launch vehicle. After reviewing 14 potential sites, a location in the South American French colony of Guiana was selected. This would allow over-water launches to a tremendous range of possible orbital inclinations -- from -100.5 deg to 1.5 deg. Being near the equator, it would provide the maximum assist from the earth's rotation for launches into equatorial orbits. The decision was formalized in April 1964 and in July 1966 ELDO chose the site for future launches of the Europa II launch vehicle. More...
  • Vandenberg SLC2W Delta launch complex. Originally a Thor 75 SMS launch pad. Upgraded to a space launch complex in 1966. More...

MicroSat SSTL Chronology


1981 October 6 - . 11:27 GMT - . Launch Site: Vandenberg. Launch Complex: Vandenberg SLC2W. LV Family: Delta. Launch Vehicle: Delta 2310. LV Configuration: Delta 2310 639/D157.
  • Oscar 9 - . Payload: UoSAT 1. Mass: 52 kg (114 lb). Nation: UK. Agency: Surrey. Manufacturer: Surrey. Program: Oscar. Class: Communications. Type: Amateur radio communications satellite. Spacecraft: Microsat SSTL. Decay Date: 1989-10-13 . USAF Sat Cat: 12888 . COSPAR: 1981-100B. Apogee: 374 km (232 mi). Perigee: 372 km (231 mi). Inclination: 97.6000 deg. Period: 92.00 min. University of Surrey research microsatellite. Radio science; also carried amateur radio package. Communication and geophysics research satellite. Launch time 1127 GMT. Also registered by the United States in ST/SG/SER.E/59, with category D and orbital parameters 95.3 min, 531 x 533 km x 97.5 deg. UoSAT-OSCAR 9 was launched piggyback with Solar Mesosphere Explorer satellite. Weight 52 kg. Box shaped 740 x 420 x 420 mm. Deployable gravity gradient boom. Firsts: First on-board computer (IHU - Integrated Housekeeping Unit) for battery and attitude management, remote control, and experiments. Built by the University of Surrey in the United Kingdom, UO-9 was UoSAT's first experimental satellite. It was a scientific and educational low-Earth orbit satellite containing many experiments and beacons but no amateur transponders. UO-9 was fully operational until it re-entered October 13, 1989 from a decaying orbit after nine years of service.

1984 March 1 - . 17:59 GMT - . Launch Site: Vandenberg. Launch Complex: Vandenberg SLC2W. LV Family: Delta. Launch Vehicle: Delta 3920. LV Configuration: Delta 3920 D174.
  • Oscar 11 - . Payload: UoSAT 2. Mass: 52 kg (114 lb). Nation: UK. Agency: Surrey. Manufacturer: Surrey. Program: Oscar. Class: Communications. Type: Amateur radio communications satellite. Spacecraft: Microsat SSTL. USAF Sat Cat: 14781 . COSPAR: 1984-021B. Apogee: 670 km (410 mi). Perigee: 651 km (404 mi). Inclination: 97.8000 deg. Period: 98.00 min. University of Surrey experimental microsatellite. Built in only 6 months, UoSAT-2 carried the first modern digital store and forward (S&F) communications payload and a prototype CCD camera. Also performed magnetospheric studies. Launch time 1759 GMT. Still operational in 2000.

1990 January 22 - . 01:35 GMT - . Launch Site: Kourou. Launch Complex: Kourou ELA2. LV Family: Ariane. Launch Vehicle: Ariane 40. LV Configuration: Ariane 40 V35.
  • Oscar 14 - . Payload: UoSAT 3. Mass: 46 kg (101 lb). Nation: UK. Agency: Surrey. Manufacturer: Surrey. Program: Oscar. Class: Communications. Type: Amateur radio communications satellite. Spacecraft: Microsat SSTL. USAF Sat Cat: 20437 . COSPAR: 1990-005B. Apogee: 797 km (495 mi). Perigee: 781 km (485 mi). Inclination: 98.6000 deg. Period: 100.70 min. University of Surrey experimental satellite. The first of Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd's modular microsatellites. Launched on the Ariane ASAP; carried an operational store and forward communications payload with extensive radiation monitoring experiments for SatelLife and Data Trax Inc (USA). Still operational in 2000. Owner/operator University of Surrey, Dept of Electronic and Electrical Engineering, Guildford, Surrey GU2 5XH.

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