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Skipper was a small American science spacecraft launched by a Molniya-M rocket from the Baykonur Cosmodrome. It was reported to be a sub-satellite of IRS 1-C. In orbit the satellite "skips" over the atmosphere at 130 - 150 km perigees, hence the name "SKIPPER". The following information was obtained from a WWW page at the Space Dynamics Laboratory, Utah State University.

Mission Objectives were: (1) To measure ultraviolet and visible electromagnetic emissions from an orbiting satellite; (2) to quantify results from the Bowshock 1 and 2 rocket-borne UV experiments, to validate models of chemical processes resulting from the passage of the satellite through the earth's upper atmosphere, and to extend the understanding to a regime of higher velocity and altitude.

Additional objectives were: (1) To develop a close scientific exchange and collaboration between SDL/USU and the Moscow Aviation Institute, who would produce the scientific instrumentation module, develop the spacecraft bus, and coordinate the launch; and (2) to gain new insights into Russian satellite design processes and paradigms.

The instrumentation consisted of (1) A scanning UV spectrometer, 200 to 400 nm; (2) a scanning VUV spectrometer, 110 to 200 nm; (3) twenty narrow-band photometers, UV and visible; and (4) four gas-filled detectors, 120 and 130 nm (two proportional counters and two ionization cells).

Alternate Names

  • 23752

Facts in Brief

Launch Date: 1995-12-28
Launch Vehicle: Molniya-M
Launch Site: Tyuratam (Baikonur Cosmodrome), Kazakhstan
Mass: 250 kg

Funding Agency

  • Unknown (United States)


  • Space Physics

Additional Information

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

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