Ariel 5

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Ariel 5
Mission type Astronomy
Operator SERC / NASA
COSPAR ID 1974-077A
SATCAT no. 7471
Spacecraft properties
Manufacturer Goddard Space Flight Center
Launch mass 130.5 kg (288 lb)
Start of mission
Launch date 15 October 1974, 07:47:00 (1974-10-15UTC07:47Z) UTC
Rocket Scout B-1
Launch site San Marco
End of mission
Decay date 14 March 1980
Orbital parameters
Eccentricity 0.00325
Perigee 512 km (318 mi)
Apogee 557 km (346 mi)
Inclination 2.9 degrees
Period 95.3 minutes
Epoch 14 October 1974, 23:00:00 UTC
Rotation Modulation Collimator (RMC)
2- to 10-KeV Sky Survey Instrument (SSI)
High-Resolution Source Spectra
Bragg Crystal Spectrometer (BCS)
High-Energy Cosmic X-Ray Spectra
All-Sky Monitor

Ariel 5[1] was a joint British and American[2] space observatory dedicated to observing the sky in the X-ray band. It was launched on 15 October 1974 from the San Marco platform in the Indian Ocean and operated until 1980. It was the penultimate satellite to be launched as part of the Ariel programme. It was designed to fit a resource budget of 2 kg, 1 bit per second, and 1 W.[3]

The All-sky monitor (ASM) was two one-dimensional pinhole cameras scanned most of the sky every spacecraft revolution.[3] The angular resolution was 10 x 10°, with an effective area of 3 cm2 (0.465 sq in), and a bandpass of 3-6 keV.

The SSI had an angular resolution of 0.75 x 10.6°, with an effective area of 290 cm2 (45 sq in), and a bandpass of 2-20 keV.[3]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Smith, J. F. "The Ariel 5 Programme". Courtier, G. M. (contributing). Royal Society. 
  2. ^ "HEASARC: Observatories - The Ariel V Satellite". NASA. Retrieved 2008-03-03. 
  3. ^ a b c Priedhorsky WC; Holt SS (1987). "Long-term cycles in cosmic X-ray sources". Space Sci Rev. 45 (3–4): 291–348. Bibcode:1987SSRv...45..291P. doi:10.1007/BF00171997.