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The NRL SOLRAD 8 satellite was one of the SOLRAD series that began in 1960 to provide continuous coverage of solar radiation with a set of standard photometers. SOLRAD 8 was a spin-stabilized satellite oriented with its spin axis perpendicular to the sun-satellite line so that the 14 solar X-ray and ultraviolet photometers pointing radially outward from its equatorial belt viewed the sun with each revolution. Data were transmitted in real time by means of an FM/AM telemetry system and were recorded by the stations on the STADAN tracking network. The satellite performed normally except for the spin system, which failed to maintain 60 rpm (at spin rates below 10 rpm data reduction became difficult). The spin rate gradually decreased to 4 rpm on September 12, 1966. At that time, ground command succeeded in reactivating spinup to 78 rpm, which exhausted the gas supply. From this point, the spin rate gradually decreased to 10 rpm in August 1967, when data collection was substantially decreased.

Alternate Names

  • SE-A
  • 01738
  • Explorer 30

Facts in Brief

Launch Date: 1965-11-19
Launch Vehicle: Scout
Launch Site: Wallops Island, United States
Mass: 56.7 kg

Funding Agencies

  • NASA-Office of Space Science Applications (United States)
  • Department of Defense-Department of the Navy (United States)


  • Solar Physics

Additional Information

Questions and comments about this spacecraft can be directed to: Dr. H. Kent Hills



NameRoleOriginal AffiliationE-mail
Mr. Marcel J. AucremanneProject ManagerNASA Headquarters
Mr. Robert W. KreplinProject ScientistUS Naval Research
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