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Spartan consists of low-cost, Shuttle-launched, short-duration, sounding-rocket-type payloads. The payloads are retrievable and reusable with a turnaround time of approximately 6 to 9 months. Spartan has relatively few operational interfaces with STS. It operates as an autonomous sub-satellite, and the data are stored on an internal tape recorder. Pointing and stabilization are achieved by an Attitude Control System (ACS). Spartan-C carries a Schmidt electrographic camera which has been successfully flown in four previous sounding rocket investigations. Scientific objectives include a survey of selected star fields and far-UV images of diffuse nebulae and nearby galaxies. Spartan-C is designed to measure the brightness and map the positions of early-type stars, white dwarfs, and hot subdwarfs.

Alternate Names

  • Spartan 3

Facts in Brief

Launch Date: 1986-12-01
Launch Vehicle: Shuttle
Launch Site: Cape Canaveral, United States
Mass: 1100 kg

Funding Agency

  • NASA-Office of Space Science Applications (United States)


  • Solar Physics

Additional Information

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



NameRoleOriginal AffiliationE-mail
Dr. George R. CarruthersMission ScientistUS Naval Research
Mr. John A. GlaabProgram ManagerNASA Headquarters
Mr. John J. WolffMission ManagerNASA Goddard Space Flight
Dr. Werner M. NeupertProject ScientistNASA Goddard Space Flight
Dr. Edward J. WeilerProgram ScientistNASA
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