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Ariel 1



Ariel 1 was designed to contribute to the current knowledge of the ionosphere and of sun-ionosphere relationships. The satellite was a 62-kg cylinder with a 58-cm diameter and a height of 22 cm. A tape recorder and instrumentation for one cosmic-ray, two solar emissions, and three ionospheric experiments were on board the satellite. Except for failure at launch of the solar Lyman-alpha experiment, the spacecraft operated nominally until July 9, 1962. Between that date and September 8, 1962, spacecraft operation was limited. The spacecraft was operated again from August 25, 1964, to November 9, 1964, to obtain data concurrent in time with Explorer 20 (64-051A).

Alternate Names

  • UK1
  • 00285
  • 1962 Omicron 1
  • S 51
  • Ariel1

Facts in Brief

Launch Date: 1962-04-26
Launch Vehicle: Thor-Delta
Launch Site: Cape Canaveral, United States
Mass: 62 kg

Funding Agencies

  • NASA-Office of Space Science Applications (United States)
  • Science Research Council, UK (United Kingdom)


  • Space Physics
  • Solar Physics
  • Astronomy

Additional Information

Questions and comments about this spacecraft can be directed to: Dr. Dieter K. Bilitza



NameRoleOriginal AffiliationE-mail
Dr. E. B. DorlingProject CoordinatorUniversity College, London
Mr. Robert C. BaumannProject ManagerNASA Goddard Space Flight
Mr. M. O. RobbinsProject ManagerScience Research Council
Mr. John T. SheaProject ScientistNASA Goddard Space Flight Center
Sir Robert L. F. BoydProject ScientistMullard Space Science Laboratory
Dr. Kenneth BulloughMission Principal InvestigatorUniversity of Sheffield
Mr. Robert E. BourdeauProject ScientistNASA Goddard Space Flight Center
Sir Harrie MasseyProgram ScientistUniversity College, London
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