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Spartan consisted of low-cost, Shuttle-launched, short-duration, sounding-rocket-type payloads. The payloads were retrievable and reusable with a turnaround time of approximately 6 to 9 months. It operated as an autonomous sub-satellite, and the data were stored on an internal tape recorder. Pointing and stabilization were achieved by an attitude control system capable of three-axis stabilized pointing to any target within plus or minus 3 arcmin. Spartan-A, as the first of the series, was intended to demonstrate the low-cost approach and its ability to achieve the desired technical performance in the STS environment. The scientific objective of the spacecraft was to investigate the photon emission processes in clusters of galaxies and to explore the center of our galaxy in the photon energy range of 0.5 to 15 keV. The spacecraft allowed the instrument to scan various cosmic sources at rates of 10 to 20 arcsec per second.

Alternate Names

  • 15831
  • Spartan 1

Facts in Brief

Launch Date: 1985-06-17
Launch Vehicle: Shuttle
Launch Site: Cape Canaveral, United States
Mass: 1100 kg

Funding Agency

  • NASA-Office of Space Science Applications (United States)


  • Solar Physics

Additional Information

Questions and comments about this spacecraft can be directed to: Dr. H. Kent Hills



NameRoleOriginal AffiliationE-mail
Mr. John A. GlaabProgram ManagerNASA Headquarters
Mr. David J. ShrewsberryMission ManagerNASA Goddard Space Flight
Dr. Gilbert G. FritzMission ScientistUS Naval Research
Dr. Raymond G. CruddaceMission ScientistUS Naval Research
Dr. Werner M. NeupertProject ScientistNASA Goddard Space Flight
Dr. Louis J. KaluzienskiProgram ScientistNASA Headquarters
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