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Spartan Halley



The Spartan series 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 capable of three-axis stabilized pointing to any target within +/- 3 arc-minutes. The main objective of this spacecraft was to obtain UV spectra of the coma and tail of Comet Halley in January 1986 shortly before its perihelion. This spacecraft failed when Space Shuttle Challenger exploded on launch.

Facts in Brief

Launch Date: 1986-01-28
Launch Vehicle: Shuttle
Launch Site: Cape Canaveral, United States

Funding Agency

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


  • Astronomy

Additional Information

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



NameRoleOriginal AffiliationE-mail
Mr. John A. GlaabProgram ManagerNASA Headquarters 
Mr. Henry C. BrintonProgram ScientistNASA Headquarters 
Dr. Werner M. NeupertProject ScientistNASA Goddard Space Flight
Mr. R. Morgan WindsorMission ManagerNASA Goddard Space Flight Center 
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