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HEAO 3

NSSDCA/COSPAR ID: 1979-082A

Description

This third High-Energy Astronomy Observatory (HEAO) mission performed a sky survey of gamma rays and cosmic rays in a manner similar to HEAO 1. It had a higher orbital inclination than the previous missions in this series, since the payload consisted primarily of cosmic-ray instrumentation; greater cosmic-ray flux occurs near the earth's magnetic poles. The scientific objectives of the mission were (1) to determine the isotopic composition of the most abundant components of the cosmic-ray flux with atomic mass between 7 and 56, and the flux of each element with atomic number (Z) between Z = 4 and Z = 50; (2) to search for super-heavy nuclei up to Z = 120 and measure the composition of the nuclei with Z >20; (3) to study intensity, spectrum, and time behavior of X-ray and gamma-ray sources between 0.06 and 10 MeV; measure isotropy of the diffuse X-ray and gamma-ray background; and perform an exploratory search for X-and gamma-ray line emissions. The normal operating mode was a continuous celestial scan about the Z axis (which nominally pointed to the sun).

Alternate Names

  • HEAO-C
  • 11532

Facts in Brief

Launch Date: 1979-09-20
Launch Vehicle: Atlas-Centaur
Launch Site: Cape Canaveral, United States
Mass: 2660.0 kg

Funding Agency

  • NASA-Office of Space Science (United States)

Disciplines

  • Astronomy
  • Planetary Science
  • Space Physics

Additional Information

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

 

Personnel

NameRoleOriginal AffiliationE-mail
Mr. Richard E. HalpernProgram ManagerNASA Headquarters 
Dr. Thomas A. ParnellProject ScientistNASA Marshall Space Flight Centertom.parnell@msfc.nasa.gov
Dr. John F. StoneProject ManagerNASA Marshall Space Flight Center 
Dr. Albert G. OppProgram ScientistNASA Headquarters 

Related Information/Data at NSSDCA

HEAO 1
HEAO 2 (Einstein Observatory)

US Active Archive for HEAO 3 Information/Data

The HEAO 3 Archive at HEASARC

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