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The HETE (High Energy Transient Experiment) was to be an international mission led by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). Its prime objective was to carry out the first multiwavelength study of gamma-ray bursts (GRB) with UV, X-ray and gamma ray instruments. A unique feature of the mission was its capability to localize bursts with several arc-second accuracy, in near real-time aboard the spacecraft.

The spacecraft hardware and software was developed by AeroAstro, Inc. (USA). The HETE spacecraft was sun-pointing with four solar panels connected to the bottom of the spacecraft bus. Spacecraft attitude was to be controlled by magnetic torque coils and a momentum wheel.

The HETE satellite was launched with the Argentine satellite SAC B. HETE was trapped within the Dual Payload Attachment Fitting due to a battery failure in the Pegasus-XL rocket third stage. Due to its inability to deploy the solar panels, HETE lost power several days after launch.

The mission was reflown using spare instruments and a new bus as an Explorer mission of opportunity as HETE 2.

Nation: USA
Type / Application: Gamma ray astronomy
Operator: NASA
Contractors: MIT (prime), AeroAstro (Bus)
Equipment: FREGATE, WXM, UVC
Configuration: HETE-Bus
Propulsion: None
Power: 4 deployable fixed solar arrays, batteries
Mass: 128 kg
Orbit: 487 km × 555 km, 38.0
Satellite COSPAR Date LS Launch Vehicle Remarks
HETE 1 1996-061A 04.11.1996 WI, L-1011, RW04/22 P Pegasus-XL with SAC B / failed to separate


Further HETE missions:

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