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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 light, X-ray radiation, and gamma-ray radiation. The OSO 8 platform consisted of a sail section, which pointed two experiments continually toward the sun, and a wheel section, which spun about an axis perpendicular to the pointing direction of the sail and carried five experiments. Gas jets and a magnetic torquing coil performed attitude adjustment. Pointing control permitted the pointed experiments to scan the region of the solar disk in a 40- by 40-arc-min to 60- by 60-arc-min raster pattern. In addition, the pointed section was capable of being commanded to select and scan a 1- by 1-arc-min or 5- by 5-arc-min region anywhere on the solar disk. Data were simultaneously recorded on tape and transmitted by PCM/PM telemetry. A command system provided for at least 512 ground-based commands. For more information, see S. P. Maran and R. J. Thomas, Sky & Teles., v. 49, p. 355, 1975.

Alternate Names

  • 07970
  • 731D
  • OSO-I
  • OSO8

Facts in Brief

Launch Date: 1975-06-21
Launch Vehicle: Delta
Launch Site: Cape Canaveral, United States
Mass: 4280 kg

Funding Agency

  • NASA-Office of Space Science (United States)


  • Solar Physics
  • Astronomy

Additional Information

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



NameRoleOriginal AffiliationE-mail
Mr. J. Patrick Corrigan, IIIProject ManagerNASA Goddard Space Flight Center
Dr. Roger J. ThomasProject ScientistNASA Goddard Space Flight Center
Mr. Michael E. McDonaldProgram ManagerNASA Headquarters
Dr. J. David BohlinProgram ScientistNASA Headquarters

US Active Archive for OSO-8 Information/Data

The OSO 8 Archive at HEASARC


OSO-8 photograph credit Hughes Aircraft Co.

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