This page no longer updated from 31 October 2001. Latest version can be found at RAE


Credit: NASA. 36,207 bytes. 341 x 340 pixels.

Class: Astronomy. Type: Radio. Nation: USA. Agency: NASA.

The Radio Astronomy Explorer investigated low frequency (long wave-length) radio emissions from the sun and its planets as well as galactic and extragalactic sources. The spacecraft had a mass of about 190 kg. It was equipped with a dipole antenna (36 m from tip to tip) and two V-shaped antennas. These antennas consist of four 230 m long elements which form a large "X" with the spacecraft in the centre. The V-shaped antennas provided gravity gradient stabilisation. The RAE program, as planned, called for a series of four spacecraft with the first scheduled for launch in early 1968. Two missions (RAE-A and B) were approved and payloads for them were selected. Missions RAE-C, and D were not approved. RAE-A and B were intended for a circular orbit with an altitude of 5800 km. Inclination of the orbit to the equator was 58 degrees retrograde and the orbital period was 3.83 hours.


Total Mass: 190 kg.

RAE Chronology

04 July 1968 Explorer 38 Program: Explorer. Launch Site: Vandenberg . Launch Vehicle: Delta J. Mass: 190 kg. Perigee: 5,835 km. Apogee: 5,861 km. Inclination: 120.9 deg.

Radio Astronomy Explorer; Earth, solar, cosmic radio emission data. Spacecraft engaged in research and exploration of the upper atmosphere or outer space (US Cat B).

10 June 1973 Explorer 49 Program: Explorer. Launch Site: Cape Canaveral . Launch Vehicle: Delta 1914. Mass: 328 kg.

Radio Astronomy Explorer; measured galactic, stellar radio noise. Lunar Orbit (Selenocentric). Spacecraft engaged in research and exploration of the upper atmosphere or outer space (US Cat B).


Back to Index
Last update 12 March 2001.
Contact Mark Wade with any corrections or comments.
Conditions for use of drawings, pictures, or other materials from this site..
© Mark Wade, 2001 .