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OV1-17 was one of four research satellites injected into orbit simultaneously from a single launch vehicle. The spacecraft was an 81-cm-long cylinder measuring 69 cm in diameter and was fitted with hemispheric multifaced solar panel domes on either end. Proper satellite orientation was maintained by a gravity-gradient stabilization system consisting of three 15.5-m-long horizontal booms forming a 'y' and two 19-m-long vertical booms. OV1-17 carried a variety of experiments to measure incoming solar electromagnetic radiation and the reaction of such radiation with the earth's outer atmosphere. Included were instrumentation for making (1) solar x-ray, particle, and electric field measurements, (2) horizontal dayglow and nightglow measurements, and (3) extremely low-frequency radio propagation studies. The spacecraft was also fitted with a meteor trail calibration beacon and a panel of 14 cadmium-sulfide solar cells to evaluate the performance and radiation resistance of such cells in a space environment. The spacecraft failed to achieve proper stabilization, thereby reducing the applicability of data from many of the experiments. OV1-17 reentered the earth's atmosphere on March 5, 1970.

Alternate Names

  • 03823

Facts in Brief

Launch Date: 1969-03-18
Launch Vehicle: Atlas
Launch Site: Vandenberg AFB, United States
Mass: 142 kg

Funding Agency

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


  • Space Physics
  • Engineering
  • 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. Hugh R. RuggeProject ScientistAerospace Corporation
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