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Castor (D 5B)

Castor (D-5B) [CNES]

The French Castor (D-5B) spacecraft had a 26-face polyhedron shape with a diameter of 80 cm. The primary mission objective was to study the upper atmosphere density variations. Secondary objectives included a study of gravity field perturbations and a study of micrometeorite impacts. A three-axis magnetometer was used to provide attitude information. Each one of the spacecraft faces contained a laser reflector. Data were measured either every 0.1 s or every 2.8 s. The data transmission rate was 1024 bits/s from the tape recorder and either 256 or 512 bits/s directly from telemetry. Operations were conducted by the operations center in Toulouse using the CNES network of telemetry and telecommand stations.

Nation: France
Type / Application: Science
Operator: CNES
Power: Solar cells, batteries
Mass: 76 kg
Orbit: 272 km × 1271 km, 29.9°
Satellite COSPAR Date LS Launch Vehicle Remarks
Castor (D 5B) 1973-F02 21.05.1973 Ko ELD F Diamant-B with Pollux (D 5A)
Castor (D 5B) 1975-039B 17.05.1975 Ko ELD Diamant-BP4 with Pollux (D 5A)