Orba (satellite)

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Mission type Atmospheric
Operator RAE
Mission duration Failed to orbit
Start of mission
Launch date 2 September 1970, 00:34:05 (1970-09-02UTC00:34:05Z) UTC
Rocket Black Arrow R2
Launch site Woomera LA-5B
Orbital parameters
Reference system Geocentric
Regime Low Earth
Epoch Planned

Orba, also known as X-2, was intended to be the first satellite launched by a British rocket. It was launched at 00:34 GMT on 2 September 1970, atop a Black Arrow rocket from Launch Area 5B at Woomera, but failed to reach orbit after the second stage of the carrier rocket shut down 13 seconds early.[1] Orba was built from spare parts due to funding restrictions,[2] and was to have been used to measure upper atmosphere density by monitoring the decay of its orbit.[3]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Wade, Mark. "Black Arrow". Encyclopedia Astronautica. Retrieved 2008-10-28. 
  2. ^ Hill, Nicholas. "Black Arrow". A Vertical Empire. Space UK. Retrieved 2008-10-28. 
  3. ^ Krebs, Gunter. "Orba (X 2)". Gunter's Space Page. Retrieved 2008-10-28.