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OV1-15, also referred to as SPADES (Solar Perturbation of Atmospheric Density Experimental Satellite), was designed to study synoptically the fluctuations of atmospheric density, composition, and temperature as a function of solar magnetospheric disturbances. The cylindrical spacecraft, 69 cm in diameter, was 1.4 m long. Electrical power was supplied by solar cells mounted on multifaced domes on each end of the spacecraft. OV1-15 was spin stabilized. The instrumentation consisted of a microphone density gauge, an ion gauge, mass spectrometers, energetic particle detectors, solar X ray and UV flux monitors, an ionospheric monitor, and a triaxial accelerometer. The spacecraft performed normally after launch, and re-entered the earth's atmosphere on November 6, 1968, after successfully completing the mission objectives.

Alternate Names

  • 03318
  • ARSP 68-1
  • PL-682F
  • SPADES 1968-059A

Facts in Brief

Launch Date: 1968-07-11
Launch Vehicle: Atlas
Launch Site: Vandenberg AFB, United States
Mass: 215 kg

Funding Agency

  • Department of Defense-Department of the Air Force (United States)


  • Space Physics
  • Solar Physics
  • Earth Science

Additional Information

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



NameRoleOriginal AffiliationE-mail
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