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astronautix.com OSO

OSO
OSO -

Credit: NASA. 14,862 bytes. 362 x 260 pixels.



Class: Solar. Nation: USA. Agency: NASA. Manufacturer: Ball.

The Orbiting Solar Observatories, developed for NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center, were designed primarily as stabilised platforms for solar-oriented scientific instruments. 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 stabilised 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 eexperiments) 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. 280



Specification


OSO Chronology


07 March 1962 OSO 1 Launch Site: Cape Canaveral . Launch Vehicle: Delta. Mass: 208 kg. Perigee: 522 km. Apogee: 553 km. Inclination: 32.8 deg.

Orbiting Solar Observatory; solar flare observations. Spacecraft engaged in research and exploration of the upper atmosphere or outer space (US Cat B).


03 February 1965 OSO 2 Launch Site: Cape Canaveral . Launch Vehicle: Delta C. Mass: 247 kg. Perigee: 294 km. Apogee: 306 km. Inclination: 32.8 deg.

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).


25 August 1965 OSO C Launch Site: Cape Canaveral . Launch Vehicle: Delta C. FAILURE: Premature third stage ignition. Mass: 280 kg.
08 March 1967 OSO 3 Launch Site: Cape Canaveral . Launch Vehicle: Delta C. Mass: 281 kg. Perigee: 546 km. Apogee: 570 km. Inclination: 32.8 deg.

Orbiting Solar Observatory. Spacecraft engaged in research and exploration of the upper atmosphere or outer space (US Cat B).


15 October 1967 OSO 4 Launch Site: Cape Canaveral . Launch Vehicle: Delta C. Mass: 272 kg. Perigee: 552 km. Apogee: 555 km. Inclination: 32.9 deg.

Extreme UV solar observations. Spacecraft engaged in research and exploration of the upper atmosphere or outer space (US Cat B).


22 January 1969 OSO 5 Launch Site: Cape Canaveral . Launch Vehicle: Delta C. Mass: 291 kg. Perigee: 538 km. Apogee: 559 km. Inclination: 33.0 deg.

Orbiting Solar Observatory; solar radiation data. Spacecraft engaged in research and exploration of the upper atmosphere or outer space (US Cat B).


09 August 1969 OSO 6 Launch Site: Cape Canaveral . Launch Vehicle: Delta N. Mass: 290 kg. Perigee: 489 km. Apogee: 554 km. Inclination: 32.9 deg.

Orbiting Solar Observatory; solar physics experiments. Spacecraft engaged in research and exploration of the upper atmosphere or outer space (US Cat B).


29 September 1971 OSO 7 Launch Site: Cape Canaveral . Launch Vehicle: Delta N. Mass: 635 kg. Perigee: 326 km. Apogee: 572 km. Inclination: 33.1 deg.

Orbiting Solar Observatory. Spacecraft engaged in research and exploration of the upper atmosphere or outer space (US Cat B).


21 June 1975 OSO 8 Launch Site: Cape Canaveral . Launch Vehicle: Delta 1914. Mass: 1,066 kg. Perigee: 539 km. Apogee: 553 km. Inclination: 32.9 deg.

Orbiting Solar Observatory. Spacecraft engaged in research and exploration of the upper atmosphere or outer space (US Cat B).



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Last update 12 March 2001.
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