AKA: Mass. Inst of Technology. Location: Cambridge, Massachusetts.
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.