Spartan 203 F1 [NASA]
Spartan 203 (Shuttle Pointed Autonomous Research Tool for Astronomy) or HCED (Halley's Comet Experiment Deployable) was an astronomical experiment to observe Halley's Comet.
The Spartan series consists of low-cost, Shuttle-launched, short-duration, sounding-rocket-type payloads. The payloads are retrievable and reusable with a turnaround time of approximately 6 to 9 months. Spartan has relatively few operational interfaces with STS. It operates as an autonomous sub-satellite, and the data are stored on an internal tape recorder. Pointing and stabilization are achieved by an attitude control system capable of three-axis stabilized pointing to any target within +/- 3 arc-minutes. T.
The objective of this investigation is to obtain UV spectra of the coma and tail of Comet 1P/Halley shortly before its perihelion, in order to determine the rates of production of O+ and OH-, and to relate the production of these species to the photodissociation of water. In addition, a search will be made for various nitrogen-, carbon-, and sulfur-containing molecules and radicals. The instrument consists of two identical Ebert-Fastie spectrometers, one covering the wavelength range 1250 to 1660 A and the other covering 1600 to 3200 A. The wavelength resolution is approximately 2 A. The instrument is similar to ones flown on the Mariner 6, 7, and 9 spacecraft. Although the comet-sun angle will be less than 45 deg at the time of the mission, unwanted sunlight effects will be eliminated by using a sunshade and by using the earth as an occulter. Two space-qualified Nikon F-3 cameras will be used to reconstruct the precise history of the pointing direction during the data-gathering periods and to provide a record of the large-scale activity of the comet during the mission, including nuclear outbursts, comal asymmetries, and the angle of separation of the dust tail from the ion tail.
This spacecraft was lost when Space Shuttle Challenger exploded during launch.
|Type / Application:||UV Astronomy (Shuttle retrievable)|
|Spartan 203-F1 (Spartan Halley)||28.01.1986||CC LC-39B||F||Shuttle||with Challenger F10 (STS 51-L), TDRS 2|