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San Marco-D/M



The primary purpose of the research satellites San Marco -D/L and -D/M is to explore the relationship between solar activity and meteorological phenomena, with emphasis on lower atmospheric winds and thermosphere-ionosphere phenomena from low (San Marco-D/L) and multistationary (San Marco-D/M) orbits. Two Scout launch vehicles inject both spacecraft into mutually predetermined orbits. Both spacecraft have planned mission lifetimes of 1.5 years. San Marco-D/M is built around a single experiment. The purpose of this spacecraft is to monitor cloud cover and ozone content. With one-third the period of an earth-synchronous or stationary satellite, observations may be repeated three times per day. The general appearance of SM-D/M is that of two cylinders with a common axis, one with a diameter of 70 cm and height of 40 cm, with the second cylinder extending from the end of the first for an additional 42 cm and with a diameter of about 32 cm. The surface of the larger cylinder is covered with 1296 solar cells that feed 2 rechargeable battery packs. The spacecraft is spin stabilized along the axis of its cylindrical structure, and scanning operation for the instrument is dependent upon the satellite spin.

Alternate Names

    Facts in Brief

    Launch Date: 1983-07-01
    Launch Vehicle: Scout
    Launch Site: San Marco Platform, Kenya
    Mass: 65 kg

    Funding Agencies

    • NASA-Office of Space Science (United States)
    • Centro Ricerche Aerospaziali, Italy (Italy)


    • Earth Science

    Additional Information

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



    NameRoleOriginal AffiliationE-mail
    Dr. M. DiruscioGeneral ContactUniversita degli Studi di Roma
    Mr. Marius B. WeinrebProgram ManagerNASA Headquarters
    Mr. Raymond S. TatumProject ManagerNASA Goddard Space Flight Center
    Dr. Nelson W. SpencerProject ScientistNASA Goddard Space Flight Center
    Dr. Erwin R. SchmerlingProgram ScientistNASA Headquarters
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