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astronautix.com SME


Other Designations: Solar Mesosphere Explorer. Class: Solar. Nation: United States. Agency: NASA, NOAA, NCAR, LASP (Univ. of Colo.). Manufacturer: JPL, Ball Space Systems.

SME was developed to investigate the processes that create and destroy ozone in the Earth's upper atmosphere. The mission's specific goals were to examine (1) the effects of changes in the solar ultraviolet flux on mesospheric ozone densities, (2) the relationship between solar flux, ozone, and the temperature of the upper stratosphere and mesosphere, (3) the relationship between ozone and water vapour, and (4) the relationship between nitrogen dioxide and ozone. Contact was lost on April 14, 1989 after a battery failure, and the vehicle re-entered on March 5, 1991. The mission was managed for NASA by JPL, and was operated by the Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics of the University of Colorado. Spacecraft: Spin stabilised (~5 rpm). Fixed solar array. Tape recorder. NiCd batteries. The spacecraft was controlled from University of Colorado's Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics (LASP) in Boulder via NASA, GSFC. Payload: Ultraviolet ozone spectrometer.1.27 micron spectrometer. Nitrogen dioxide spectrometer. Four-channel infrared radiometer. Solar ultraviolet monitor. Solar proton alarm detector. All instruments were turned off in December, 1988 due to power constraints.


Specification

Design Life: 1 year. Total Length: 1.7 m. Maximum Diameter: 1.3 m. Total Mass: 437 kg.


SME Chronology


06 October 1981 SME Launch Site: Vandenberg . Launch Vehicle: Delta 2914. Mass: 437 kg. Perigee: 335 km. Apogee: 337 km. Inclination: 97.6 deg.

Solar Mesosphere Explorer. Spacecraft engaged in practical applications and uses of space technology such as weather or communication (US Cat C).


14 April 1989 Contact lost with SME.

SME was developed to investigate the processes that create and destroy ozone in the Earth's upper atmosphere. All instruments were turned off in December 1988 due to power constraints. Contact was lost on April 14, 1989 after a battery failure, and the vehicle re-entered on March 5, 1991.



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Last update 12 March 2001.
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