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The RAE-1 spacecraft measured the intensity of celestial radio sources, particularly the sun, as a function of time, direction, and frequency (0.2 to 20 MHz). The spacecraft was gravity gradient oriented. The spacecraft weight was 193 kg, and average power consumption was 25 W. It carried two 750-ft-long V-antennas, one facing toward the earth and one facing away from the earth. A 120-ft-long dipole antenna was oriented tangentially with respect to the earth's surface. The spacecraft was also equipped with one 136-MHz telemetry turnstile. The onboard experiments consisted of four step-frequency Ryle-Vonberg radiometers operating from 0.45 to 9.18 MHz, two multichannel total power radiometers operating from 0.2 to 5.4 MHz, one step frequency V-antenna impedance probe operating from 0.24 to 7.86 MHz, and one dipole antenna capacitance probe operating from 0.25 to 2.2 MHz. RAE-1 was designed for a 1-year minimum operating lifetime. The spacecraft tape recorder performance began to deteriorate after 2 months in orbit. In spite of several cases of instrument malfunction, good data were obtained on all three antenna systems. For more details, see R. R. Weber, J. K. Alexander, and R. G. Stone, Radio Sci., v. 6, p. 1085, 1971.

Alternate Names

  • Radio Astronomy Explorer
  • RAE 1
  • Explorer 38
  • 03307

Facts in Brief

Launch Date: 1968-07-04
Launch Vehicle: Delta
Launch Site: Vandenberg AFB, United States
Mass: 602 kg

Funding Agency

  • NASA-Office of Space Science Applications (United States)


  • Space Physics
  • Solar Physics
  • Astronomy

Additional Information

Questions and comments about this spacecraft can be directed to: Coordinated Request and User Support Office



NameRoleOriginal AffiliationE-mail
Dr. Robert G. StoneProject ScientistNASA Goddard Space Flight
Dr. Nancy G. RomanProgram ScientistNASA Headquarters
Mr. John T. SheaProject ManagerNASA Goddard Space Flight Center

[RAE-A Diagram]

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