The Vela-5B Satellite
Credit: Los Alamos National Laboratory
Vela-5B was part of a classified series of US Vela
satellites.The program was run jointly by the Advanced Research Projects
of the U.S. Department of Defense and the U.S. Atomic Energy Commission,
managed by the U.S. Air Force. They were not intended primarily for
astronomical studies but did provide much useful celestial data.
The Vela-5A and 5B satellites were launched in 1969 and Vela-6A and 6B
in 1970 and they operated in spinning mode. Each operated for about
a year except Vela-5B which provided data until mid 1979.
23 May 1969 - 19 June 1979
- A Scintillation X-ray detector (All-Sky Monitor; ASM)
~26 cm2, ~6.1° x 6.1 ° FOV (FWHM)
- 6 Gamma Ray detectors
150-750 keV Total volume ~60 cm3 of CsI
Archive: Lightcurves and Raw data from the ASM
- Long lifetime allowed for study of long-term variability of X-ray
binaries and X-ray transients.
- One of the first satellites to detect gamma-ray bursts
- Co-discovered (with ANS) X-ray bursts.