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ESRO-1/Aurorae was a 80-kg, cylindricallly shaped, solar-cell-powered spacecraft instrumented with seven scientific experiments chosen to measure a comprehensive range of auroral effects. The measurements include auroral luminosity, ionospheric composition and temperature, and the flux, type and energy spectra of trapped and precipitated energetic particles (electrons of energies 1 to 30,000 KeV). The spacecraft was placed in a low polar orbit with its axis of symmetry magnetically aligned along the earth's field. It had operated satisfactorily for 18 months, except for the tape recorder which failed after 7 months. Aurorae was expected to reenter the Earth's atmosphere in June 1970.

Alternate Names

  • 03459
  • ESRO 1A
  • PL-683D

Facts in Brief

Launch Date: 1968-10-03
Launch Vehicle: Scout
Launch Site: Vandenberg AFB, United States
Mass: 85.8 kg

Funding Agencies

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


  • Space Physics

Additional Information

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



NameRoleOriginal AffiliationE-mail
Mr. Herbert L. EakerProject ManagerNASA Goddard Space Flight Center
Dr. Leslie H. MeredithProject ScientistNASA Goddard Space Flight Center
Mr. Derek E. MullingerProject ManagerESA-European Space Research and Technology Centre
Dr. Rudolf JaeschkeProject ScientistNASA Goddard Space Flight Center
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