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FORTE (Fast On-orbit Recording of Transient Events) was launched from Vandenberg AFB on a Pegasus-XL rocket into a 800 x 807 km x 70.0 degree orbit. FORTE was a small satellite program by the Los Alamos National Laboratory and Sandia National Laboratories for the Department of Energy. It carried sophisticated electronic equipment for detecting, analyzing and recording bursts of radion energy (monitoring of violations of nuclear test ban treaties) arising from near Earth's surface. The satellite used a completely graphite epoxy composite structure weighing only 41 kg. It carried a 10m depolyable antenna. The attitude mode employed was momentum bias with gravity gradient stabilization. It carried 3x2 axis magnetometers and an Earth horizon sensor, momentum wheel and 3-axis magnetic torque rods.

Alternate Names

  • 24920

Facts in Brief

Launch Date: 1997-08-29
Launch Vehicle: Pegasus XL
Launch Site: Vandenberg AFB, United States
Mass: 215 kg

Funding Agency

  • Unknown (United States)


  • Surveillance and Other Military

Additional Information

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

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