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The SERT 2A spacecraft provided the first orbital test of electron bombardment ion engines. A SERT 1 suborbital flight in July 1964 was the first test in space. There were two test thrusters -- each employed a vaporized mercury propellant and generated about 0.006 lb thrust. Because of limited power of 1000 w from solar cells, only one thruster was operated at a time. The Lewis Research Center was responsible for both the spacecraft and launch vehicle.

Alternate Names

  • SERT 2
  • 04327
  • SERT2A

Facts in Brief

Launch Date: 1970-02-04
Launch Vehicle: Thor-Agena
Launch Site: Vandenberg AFB, United States
Mass: 1404 kg

Funding Agency

  • NASA-Office of Aeronautics and Space Technology (United States)


  • Engineering

Additional Information

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

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