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astronautix.com SWAS


Other Designations: Submillimeter Wave Astronomy Satellite. Manufacturer's Designation: SMEX. Class: Astronomy. Type: Infrared. Nation: USA. Agency: NASA. Manufacturer: NASA Goddard.

SWAS, the Submillimeter Wave Astronomy Satellite, had a 0.6m telescope with a 490 to 550 GHz submillimeter receiver and an acousto-optical spectrometer. SWAS was used to study the cooling of molecular cloud cores, the sites of star formation in the Milky Way galaxy, by measuring lines from molecular oxygen and water.


Specification


SWAS Chronology


06 December 1998 SWAS Program: Small Explorer. Launch Site: Vandenberg . Launch Vehicle: Pegasus XL. Perigee: 637 km. Apogee: 651 km. Inclination: 69.9 deg.

On December 3 the Orbital Sciences L-1011 Stargazer took off from Vandenberg AFB Runway 30/12 carrying a Pegasus XL launch vehicle with the SWAS satellite aboard. It reached the drop box at 36.0N 123.0W over the Pacific, but due to a software-related problem the range ordered the launch scrubbed and the L-1011 returned to base. After a further delay due to weather, the L-1011 took off at 23:58 GMT on December 5 and SWAS reached orbit and separated from the third stage at 01:09 GMT. SWAS, the Sub-millimetre Wave Astronomy Satellite, had a 0.6m telescope with a 490 to 550 GHz sub-millimetre receiver and an acousto-optical spectrometer. SWAS was used to study the cooling of molecular cloud cores, the sites of star formation in our galaxy, by measuring lines from molecular oxygen and water.



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Last update 12 March 2001.
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