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OSO
OSO
OSO
Credit: NASA
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.

Status: Operational 1962. First Launch: 1962-03-07. Last Launch: 1975-06-21. Number: 9 .

The OSOs permitted the first extended study of the sun (from above the earth's filtering atmosphere) with accurate positioning. Experiments on the satellites studied the sun, flares and other solar activities, X-ray, gamma and ultraviolet radiation and radiation from extra-solar sources.

The two section space observatory was stabilized because the lower section, the "wheel," spinned as a gyroscope at a near constant 30 revolutions per minute. The upper fan-shaped section, the "sail," was joined to the wheel by a connecting shaft and remained pointed toward the sun during the OSO daytime. Experiments in the wheel scanned the sun every 2 seconds and those in the sail pointed continuously at the sun. The OSO was placed in orbit 565 km above earth by a Delta booster and circled the earth every 96 minutes. Each spacecraft weighed from 200 to 280 kg (including experiments) and carried up to 9 experiments Each of the 3 successful OSO's exceeded their five month design specification. OSO 1, launched March 7, 1962, was. in operation nearly 18 months; OSO 2, launched February 3, 1965, nearly 9 months; OSO 3, launched March 8, 1967, and OSO 4, launched October 18, 1967, continued to send back scientific data through year-end 1968. Prime Contractor was Ball Brothers Research Corporation.


More at: OSO.

Subtopics

OSO 7 Solar observatory satellite operated by NASA, USA. Launched 1971.

OSO 8 Solar observatory satellite built by Hughes for NASA, USA. Launched 1975.

Family: Astronomy, Medium earth orbit, Solar. Country: USA. Launch Vehicles: Thor, Delta, Thor Delta, Thor Delta C, Thor Delta C1, Thor Delta N, Delta 1910, Delta 1000, Delta C. Launch Sites: Cape Canaveral, Cape Canaveral LC17B, Cape Canaveral LC17A. Agency: NASA, Ball. Bibliography: 126, 2, 3995, 3996, 3997, 3998, 3999, 4000, 4001, 4002, 4003, 4004, 4005, 405, 6, 11578, 12929, 12930, 12931.
Photo Gallery

OSO 1OSO 1
Credit: Manufacturer Image


OSO 7OSO 7
Credit: Manufacturer Image


OSO 8OSO 8
Credit: Manufacturer Image



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). .

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 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 .

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 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). .

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). .

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). .

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). .


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