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Starlette / Stella

Stella [CNES]

Starlette (Satellite de Taille Adaptée avec Réflecteurs Laser por les Etudes de la Terre) and Stella are virtually identical French passive satellites launched by the Centre National d'Etudes Spatiales (CNES) in 1975 and 1993, respectively. They are dedicated to geodetic and geophysical studies with SLR (Satellite Laser Ranging).

Their small size compared to their mass gives them a much larger sensitivity to the gravitational attraction than to the surface forces due either to the residual atmosphere at the satellite or to radiation pressure. Both Stella and Starlette are covered with 60 identical retroreflectors.

Nation: France
Type / Application: Geodesy
Operator: CNES
Contractors: CNES
Equipment: 60 retroreflectors
Configuration: 24 cm sphere
Propulsion: None
Power: None
Lifetime:
Mass: 47 kg (Starlette), 48 kg (Stella)
Orbit: 806 km × 1108 km, 49.82° (Starlette); 798 km × 805 km, 98.68° (Stella)
Satellite COSPAR Date LS Launch Vehicle Remarks
Starlette (BETA) 1975-010A 06.02.1975 Ko ELD Diamant-BP4
Stella 1993-061B 26.09.1993 Ko ELA-2 Ariane-40 H10 with SPOT 3, Healthsat 2, Kitsat 2, Eyesat 1, Itamsat, PoSAT 1