Solar Mesosphere Explorer

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Solar Mesosphere Explorer
Solar mesosphere explorer.gif
Mission type Earth observation
Operator NASA
COSPAR ID 1981-100A
SATCAT № 12887
Mission duration ~7 years
Spacecraft properties
Manufacturer Jet Propulsion Laboratory
Launch mass 437 kilograms (963 lb)
Start of mission
Launch date October 6, 1981, 11:27 (1981-10-06UTC11:27Z) UTC
Rocket Delta 2310
Launch site Vandenberg AFB SLC-2W
Orbital parameters
Reference system Geocentric
Regime Low Earth
Perigee 535.0 kilometers (332.4 mi)
Apogee 551.0 kilometers (342.4 mi)
Inclination 97.5589 degrees
Period 95.50 minutes
RAAN 138.8452 degrees
Argument of perigee 259.5734 degrees
Mean anomaly 100.6126 degrees
Mean motion 16.36783794
Epoch 5 March 1991, 04:02:01 UTC
Revolution number 205
Instruments
Ultraviolet ozone spectrometer
1.27 micrometre spectrometer
nitrogen dioxide spectrometer
four-channel infrared radiometer
solar ultraviolet monitor
solar proton alarm detector

The Solar Mesosphere Explorer (also known as Explorer 64) was an United States unmanned spacecraft to investigate the processes that create and destroy ozone in Earth's upper atmosphere. The mesosphere is a layer of the atmosphere extending from the top of the stratosphere to an altitude of about 80 kilometers (50 mi). The spacecraft carried five instruments to measure ozone, water vapor and incoming solar radiation.

Launched on October 6, 1981, on a Delta rocket from Vandenberg Air Force Base, in California, the satellite returned data until April 4, 1989. The spacecraft reentered Earth's atmosphere on March 5, 1991.

Managed for NASA by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, the Solar Mesosphere Explorer was built by Ball Space Systems and operated by the Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics of the University of Colorado where one hundred undergraduate and graduate students were involved.[1]

  • Mass: 437 kilograms (963 pounds)
  • Power: Solar panels which charged NiCad batteries
  • Configuration: Cylinder 1.25 meter (4.1 ft) diameter by 1.7 meter (5.6 ft) high
  • Science instruments: Ultraviolet ozone spectrometer, 1.27 micrometre spectrometer, nitrogen dioxide spectrometer, four-channel infrared radiometer, solar ultraviolet monitor, solar proton alarm detector

References[edit]

  1. ^ SME: Solar Mesosphere Explorer, University of Colorado at Boulder, http://lasp.colorado.edu/mission_history/missions/past/SME.htm

External links[edit]