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AE-D

NSSDCA/COSPAR ID: 1975-096A

Description

The purpose of the AE-D mission was to continue the investigation begun by AE-C of the chemical processes and energy transfer mechanisms that control the structure and behavior of the earth's atmosphere and ionosphere in the region of high absorption of solar energy. This mission was planned to sample the high latitude regions at the same time that the AE-E mission was sampling the equatorial and low latitude regions. The same type of spacecraft as AE-C was used, and the payload consisted of the same types of instruments except for deletion of the extreme solar UV monitor and the Bennett ion mass spectrometer, which were part of the AE-E payload. The polar orbit provided the sampling of all latitudes and the perigee moved through all latitudes in 3 months and all local times in 4 months. Unfortunately, a failure in the solar power panels resulted in the termination of operations on January 29, 1976, after slightly less than 4 months of useful life. However, all the regions at the perigee altitudes were sampled during this time. The spacecraft re-entered the atmosphere about 1 month after cessation of telemetry. To continue the correlated observations with the AE-E mission, AE-C was reactivated on February 28, 1976, to replace AE-D. More details can be found in A. Dalgarno et al., Radio Sci., v. 8, n. 4, p. 263, 1973.

Alternate Names

  • Explorer 54
  • Atmosphere Explorer-D
  • 08353

Facts in Brief

Launch Date: 1975-10-06
Launch Vehicle: Delta
Launch Site: Vandenberg AFB, United States
Mass: 681.0 kg

Funding Agency

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

Disciplines

  • Engineering
  • Earth Science
  • Solar Physics
  • Space Physics

Additional Information

Questions or comments about this spacecraft can be directed to: Dr. Dieter K. Bilitza.

 

Personnel

NameRoleOriginal AffiliationE-mail
Mr. David W. GrimesProject ManagerNASA Goddard Space Flight Center 
Dr. Erwin R. SchmerlingProgram ScientistNASA Headquarters 
Dr. Nelson W. SpencerProject ScientistNASA Goddard Space Flight Center 
Mr. Frank W. GaetanoProgram ManagerNASA Headquarters 

Other AE Data/Information at NSSDCA

AE-A
AE-B
AE-C
AE-D
AE-E

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