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The High Energy Transient Experiment (HETE) was to be an international mission led by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). Its prime objective was to carry out the first multiwavelength study of gamma-ray bursts (GRB) with UV, X-ray and gamma ray instruments. A unique feature of the mission was its capability to localize bursts with several arc-second accuracy, in near real-time aboard the spacecraft. The spacecraft hardware and software was developed by AeroAstro, Inc. (USA). The HETE spacecraft was sun-pointing with four solar panels connected to the bottom of the spacecraft bus. Spacecraft attitude was to be controlled by magnetic torque coils and a momentum wheel.

The HETE satellite was launched with the Argentine satellite SAC-B. HETE was trapped within the Dual Payload Attachment Fitting due to a battery failure in the Pegasus XL rocket third stage. Due to its inability to deploy the solar panels, HETE lost power several days after launch

Alternate Names

  • 24645
  • HETE1
  • High Energy Transient Experiment
  • High-Energy Transient Explorer 1

Facts in Brief

Launch Date: 1996-11-04
Launch Vehicle: Pegasus XL
Launch Site: Wallops Island, United States
Mass: 128 kg

Funding Agency

  • 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

Related Information/Data at NSSDCA


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