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The Astronomical Netherlands Satellite (ANS) was an earth-orbiting, sun-synchronous satellite, designed as an astronomical observatory. The spacecraft was attitude-controlled by magnetic coils interacting with the earth's magnetic field, by reaction wheels, and by a so-called "yo-yo" (a device for initially despinning the spacecraft by ejecting two masses that carry away most of the angular momentum). Attitude sensing was carried out by solar sensors (coarse, intermediate, and fine), horizon sensors, a star sensor, and a magnetometer. Two guide stars near the object being observed served as the final pointing references. Experiments on board observed celestial objects in UV and X-ray wavelengths. During its observing lifetime of 20 months (September 1974 to June 1976), ANS measured the positions, spectra, and time variations of galactic and extragalactic X-ray sources in the energy range 2 to 15 keV, and obtained over 18,000 observations of about 400 objects in the UV range 1500 to 3300 A. For additional details, see W. Bloemendal and C. Kramer, Philips Tech. Rev., v. 33, p. 117, 1973.

Alternate Names

  • 07427
  • Astronomical Netherlands Satellite

Facts in Brief

Launch Date: 1974-08-30
Launch Vehicle: Scout
Launch Site: Vandenberg AFB, United States
Mass: 129.8 kg

Funding Agencies

  • Netherlands Institute for Aeronautics and Space (The Netherlands)
  • NASA-Office of Space Science (United States)


  • Astronomy

Additional Information

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



NameRoleOriginal AffiliationE-mail
Mr. George E. KowalskiGeneral ContactNASA Goddard Space Flight Center
Dr. W. BloemendalProject ManagerFokker Aircraft Company
Mr. Theodore P. StecherProject ScientistNASA Goddard Space Flight Center
Mr. John R. HoltzProgram ManagerNASA Headquarters
Mr. Emil W. HymowitzProject ManagerNASA Goddard Space Flight Center
Dr. Nancy G. RomanProgram ScientistNASA Headquarters
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