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Over a 3 1/2-year development period, from 1966 to 1970, NASA's Lewis Research Center undertook an effort to design, fabricate, and qualify a new ion thruster system and the supporting spacecraft components for the SERT 2 (Space Electric Rocket Test) mission. It was launched in 1970 on a Thorad-SLV2G Agena-D rocket from Vandenberg Air Force Base, CA under the management of NASA Lewis. SERT 2 carried two ion thrusters, one operating for more than five months and the other for nearly three months. Extended ion thruster restarts from 1973 to 1981 were conducted, in addition to cross-neutralization tests. Tests of a reflector erosion experiment were continued in 1989 to 1991. The continuing performance of spacecraft subsystems, including the solar arrays, over the 1970-1991 period was also monitored as well as thruster-spacecraft interactions.

Nation: USA
Type / Application: Technology
Operator: NASA's Lewis Research Center
Contractors: NASA's Lewis Research Center, Fairchild (payload), Lockheed (Agena stage)
Equipment: 2 ion engines
Configuration: Agena-D
Propulsion: Bell 8096, 2 ion enines
Power: 2 deployable fixed solar arrays, batteries
Mass: 1404 kg
Orbit: 1040 km × 1048 km, 99.30
Satellite COSPAR Date LS Launch Vehicle Remarks
SERT 2 1970-009A 04.02.1970 Va SLC-2E Thorad-SLV2G Agena-D


  • NSSDC Master Catalog: SERT 2
Further SERT missions:

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