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San Marco 4



The Italian-built San Marco 4 spacecraft was part of a cooperative space effort between the Italian Space Commission (CRS) and NASA. The scientific objective of this flight was to measure the diurnal variations of the equatorial neutral thermosphere density, composition, and temperature for correlation with simultaneous Atmospheric Explorer C data. Studies of the physics and dynamics of the lower thermosphere were included. The spacecraft carried (1) a Neutral Atmosphere Composition Experiment (NACE) to determine upper atmospheric (160 km and above) concentrations of argon, helium, atomic oxygen and molecular oxygen and nitrogen, (2) a Neutral Atmospheric Temperature Experiment (NATE) to determine the temperature of ambient molecular nitrogen and (3) an accelerometer to measure atmospheric density near satellite perigee.

Alternate Names

  • 07154
  • SM-C2
  • San Marco-C-2
  • SanMarco4

Facts in Brief

Launch Date: 1974-02-18
Launch Vehicle: Scout
Launch Site: San Marco Platform, Kenya
Mass: 164 kg

Funding Agencies

  • NASA-Office of Space Science Applications (United States)
  • Centro Ricerche Aerospaziali, Italy (Italy)


  • Earth Science

Additional Information

Questions and comments about this spacecraft can be directed to: Dr. Dieter K. Bilitza



NameRoleOriginal AffiliationE-mail
Mr. John R. HoltzProgram ManagerNASA Headquarters
Mr. Anthony J. CaporaleProject ManagerNASA Goddard Space Flight
Dr. Erwin R. SchmerlingProgram ScientistNASA Headquarters
Dr. George P. NewtonProject ScientistNASA Goddard Space Flight Center
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