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Spartan 201 (Solar Spartan)

Spartan 201 F1 [NASA]

The scientific objective of the Spartan 201 or Solar Spartan (Shuttle Pointed Autonomous Research Tool for Astronomy) mission is to probe the physics of solar-wind acceleration by observing the hydrogen, proton and electron temperatures and densities, and the solar-wind velocities in a variety of coronal structures at locations from 1.5 to 3.5 solar radii from the Sun. The instruments are an ultraviolet coronal spectrometer and a white-light coronagraph. The spectrometer measures the intensities of Lyman alpha (1215 A) and the intensities of the Oxygen VI lines (1031.9 and 1037.6 A). The white-light coronagraph measures the intensity and polarization of the electron-scattered white-light corona. Both of these instruments have been used in previous sounding rocket flights. The instruments are housed together in a cylinder that is 0.43 m in diameter and 3 m long.

The Spartan program provides a series of low-cost, free-flying space platforms to perform various scientific studies. A Spartan is launched aboard the Space Shuttle and deployed from the Orbiter, where it performs a pre-programmed mission. Scientific data are collected during each mission using a tape recorder and, in many cases, film cameras. There is no command and control capability after deployment. The Spartan is then retrieved by the Orbiter and returned to Earth for recovery of the data, refurbishment and preparation for future missions. Power during the deployed phase of the mission is provided by on-board batteries, and attitude control is accomplished with pneumatic gas jets. The onboard tape recorder provides approximately 6E9 bits of storage capacity for experiments.

This experiment was flown and retrieved five times.

Nation: USA
Type / Application: UV-Ray Astronomy (Shuttle retrievable)
Operator: NASA Goddard
Equipment: ?
Configuration: Spartan-200
Propulsion: ?
Power: Batteries
Mass: 1360 kg
Orbit: 292 km × 298 km, 57.00 (#F1); 252 km × 265 km, 57.00 (#F2); 369 km × 382 km, 28.47 (#F3); 277 km × 283 km, 28.47 (#F4); 549 km × 560 km, 28.47 (#F5)
Satellite COSPAR Date LS Launch Vehicle Remarks
Spartan 201-F1 1993-023B 08.04.1993 CCK LC-39B Shuttle with Discovery F16 (STS 56)
Spartan 201-F2 1994-059B 09.09.1994 CCK LC-39B Shuttle with Discovery F19 (STS 64)
Spartan 201-F3 1995-048B 07.09.1995 CCK LC-39A Shuttle with Endeavour F9 (STS 69), WSF 2
Spartan 201-F4 1997-073B 19.11.1997 CCK LC-39B Shuttle with Columbia F24 (STS 87), AERCam Sprint
Spartan 201-F5 1998-064C 29.10.1998 CCK LC-39B Shuttle with Discovery F25 (STS 95), PANSAT