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The Lewis satellite was part of NASA's Small Spacecraft Technology Initiative. It was also part of NASA's Mission to Planet Earth, a long-term research program designed to study the Earth's land, oceans, air, and life as a total system. Built by TRW Space & Electronics Group, Redondo Beach, CA, the 890-pound satellite was launched August 23, 1997 from Vandenburg Air Force Base, CA, aboard a Lockheed Martin Launch Vehicle (LMLV-1). Initial operations and check-out were proceeding satisfactorily until telemetry received early August 26 indicated that the spacecraft was spinning at approximately two revolutions per minute. The spinning resulted in the spacecraft shutting down after its solar panels could not capture enough sunlight to properly recharge onboard batteries. On September 28, the Lewis satellite ended in a ball of fire as it plunged into the atmosphere. EDC DAAC was to distribute the data from the Lewis satellite. The Lewis homepage URL address is:

Alternate Names

  • 24909
  • Lewis

Facts in Brief

Launch Date: 1997-08-23
Launch Vehicle: Athena 1
Launch Site: Vandenberg AFB, United States
Mass: 445 kg

Funding Agency

  • National Aeronautics and Space Administration (United States)


  • Earth Science

Additional Information

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

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