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Spartan 201-01



The scientific objective of the Solar Spartan mission is to probe the physics of solar-wind acceleration by observing the hydrogen, proton and electron temperatures and densities, and the solar-wind velocities in a variety of coronal structures at locations from 1.5 to 3.5 solar radii from the Sun. The instruments are an ultraviolet coronal spectrometer and a white-light coronagraph. The spectrometer measures the intensities of Lyman alpha (1215 A) and the intensities of the Oxygen VI lines (1031.9 and 1037.6 A). The white-light coronagraph measures the intensity and polarization of the electron-scattered white-light corona. Both of these instruments have been used in previous sounding rocket flights. The instruments are housed together in a cylinder that is 0.43 m in diameter and 3 m long. The Spartan program provides a series of low-cost, free-flying space platforms to perform various scientific studies. A Spartan is launched aboard the Space Shuttle and deployed from the Orbiter, where it performs a pre-programmed mission. Scientific data are collected during each mission using a tape recorder and, in many cases, film cameras. There is no command and control capability after deployment. The Spartan is then retrieved by the Orbiter and returned to Earth for recovery of the data, refurbishment and preparation for future missions. Power during the deployed phase of the mission is provided by on-board batteries, and attitude control is accomplished with pneumatic gas jets. The onboard tape recorder provides approximately 6E9 bits of storage capacity for experiments. More information on the mission may be obtained from the instrument Principal Investigators, Dr. John Kohl (Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory) and Dr. Richard Fisher (High Altitude Observatory).

Image shows the Spartan 201 satellite at the Smithsonian Air and Space Udvar-Hazy Center.

Alternate Names

  • 22623
  • Solar Spartan
  • Spartan201-01

Facts in Brief

Launch Date: 1993-04-08
Launch Vehicle: Shuttle
Launch Site: Cape Canaveral, United States
Mass: 1360 kg

Funding Agency

  • National Aeronautics and Space Administration (United States)


  • Solar Physics

Additional Information

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



NameRoleOriginal AffiliationE-mail
Mr. Francis M. Collins, Jr.Project ManagerNASA Goddard Space Flight Center
Mr. Louis J. DemasProgram ManagerNASA Headquarters
Dr. J. David BohlinProgram ScientistNASA Headquarters
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