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Solrad Series

The Solrad 10 satellite during instrument integration

The Solrad 10 satellite during instrument integration. (Credit: NASA)

Solrad 11 A and B in the launch integration facility

Solrad 11 A and B in the launch integration facility. (Credit: NASA)

The Solrad series of satellites were launched by the United States to study radiation from the sun in ultraviolet and X-ray. Solrad 10, 11A and 11B had experiments which contributed to non-solar high energy astronomy studies.

Lifetime: June 1960 (launch of Solrad 1) - July 1977 (end of data from Solrad 11A)

Country (primary): United States

Solrad 10

Lifetime: July 1971 - June 1973

Primary Science

Solrad 10 was designed to study the wavelength and intensity changes in solar radiation in the ultraviolet and X-ray. Solrad also mapped the celestial sphere using a high-sensitivity X-ray detector.

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Solrad 11A & B

Lifetime: March 1976 - July 1977 (Solrad 11A); March 1976 - December 1976 (Solrad 11B)

Primary Science

Solrad 11A and Solrad 11B were a pair of identical spacecraft launched together, each carrying 25 experiments. The satellites were designed to study the solar electromagnetic and charged particle emissions, Earth auroral and stellar X-ray emission, terrestrial and interplanetary extreme ultraviolet missions, X-ray and charged particle emission from the anti-solar direction, and gamma-ray bursts.

Science Highlights

  • Recorded nine gamma-ray bursts, eight of which were also detected by at least one Vela satellite

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