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The objectives of the OSO satellite series were to perform solar physics experiments above the atmosphere during a complete solar cycle and to map the entire celestial sphere for direction and intensity of UV, X-ray and gamma radiation. The OSO 5 platform consisted of a sail section that pointed two experiments continually toward the sun and a wheel section that spun about an axis perpendicular to the pointing direction of the sail and carried six experiments. Attitude adjustments were performed by gas jets and a magnetic torquing coil. Pointing control permitted the pointed experiments to scan the region of the solar disk in a 40- by 40-arc-min raster pattern. In addition, the pointed section could be commanded to select and scan a 7.5- by 7-arc-min region near the solar disk. Data were simultaneously recorded on tape and transmitted by PCM/PM telemetry. A command system provided for 155 ground-based commands. For more information, see A. W. L. Ball, Spaceflight, v. 12, p. 244, 1970.

Alternate Names

  • 03663
  • OSO-F
  • OSO5
  • PL-684A

Facts in Brief

Launch Date: 1969-01-22
Launch Vehicle: Delta
Launch Site: Cape Canaveral, United States
Mass: 645 kg

Funding Agency

  • NASA-Office of Space Science (United States)


  • Space Physics
  • Solar Physics
  • Astronomy
  • Earth Science

Additional Information

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



NameRoleOriginal AffiliationE-mail
Mr. Michael E. McDonaldProgram ManagerNASA Headquarters
Dr. Stephen P. MaranProject ScientistNASA Goddard Space Flight
Dr. Goetz K. OertelProgram ScientistNASA Headquarters
Mr. Robert H. PickardProject ManagerPhillips Laboratory (nee USAF Geophysics Lab, nee Cambridge Labs)
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