American radio astronomy satellite. 2 launches, 1968.07.04 (Explorer 38) to 1973.06.10 (Explorer 49).
The Radio Astronomy Explorer investigated low frequency (long wave-length) radio emissions from the sun and its planets as well as galactic and extragalactic sources. The spacecraft had a mass of about 190 kg. It was equipped with a dipole antenna (36 m from tip to tip) and two V-shaped antennas. These antennas consist of four 230 m long elements which form a large "X" with the spacecraft in the centre. The V-shaped antennas provided gravity gradient stabilization. The RAE program, as planned, called for a series of four spacecraft with the first scheduled for launch in early 1968. Two missions (RAE-A and B) were approved and payloads for them were selected. Missions RAE-C, and D were not approved. RAE-A and B were intended for a circular orbit with an altitude of 5800 km. Inclination of the orbit to the equator was 58 degrees retrograde and the orbital period was 3.83 hours.
AKA: Radio Astronomy Explorer.
More... - Chronology...
Gross mass: 190 kg (410 lb).
Span: 4.60 m (15.00 ft).
First Launch: 1968.07.04.
Last Launch: 1973.06.10.
Number: 2 .
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...
Delta J American orbital launch vehicle. Four stage vehicle consisting of 3 x Castor + 1 x Thor DSV-2C + 1 x Delta E + 1 x Star 37D More...
Delta 1913 American orbital launch vehicle. Four stage vehicle consisting of 9 x Castor 2 + 1 x ELT Thor/MB-3 + 1 x Delta P /TR-201 + 1 x Star 37D More...
Delta 1000 American orbital launch vehicle. The Delta 1000 series used Castor 2 strap-ons and the Extended Long Tank core with MB-3 engine. More...
Associated Manufacturers and Agencies
NASA American agency overseeing development of rockets and spacecraft. National Aeronautics and Space Administration, USA, USA. More...
Explorer Series of satellites launched by Jet Propulsion Laboratory for the exploration of the space environment (micrometeoroids, charged particles, radiation, etc) from both earth orbital and heliocentric orbital locations. More...
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.
Aerospace Yearbook, 1966,
NASA Report, Integration plan for the Radio Astronomy Explorer /RAE/ spacecraft, Web Address when accessed: here.
Associated Launch Sites
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...
Vandenberg SLC2E Delta launch complex. Originally a Thor 75 SMS launch pad. Upgraded to a space launch complex in 1966. More...
Cape Canaveral LC17B Delta launch complex. Part of a dual launch pad complex built for the Thor ballistic missile program in 1956. Upgraded over the decades for use with Thor, Delta, Delta II, and Delta III launch vehicles, it remained in use for over half a century. More...
1968 July 4 -
17:26 GMT - .
. Launch Complex
: Vandenberg SLC2E
. LV Family
. Launch Vehicle
: Delta J
. LV Configuration
: Thor Delta J 476/D57.
- 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. Summary: 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). .
1973 June 10 -
14:13 GMT - .
: Cape Canaveral
. Launch Complex
: Cape Canaveral LC17B
. LV Family
. Launch Vehicle
: Delta 1913
. LV Configuration
: Delta 1913 581/D95.
- 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. Summary: 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)..
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