Encyclopedia Astronautica

American civilian surveillance satellite. One launch, 1997.08.01. The SeaStar satellite carries the SeaWiFS instrument which was designed to monitor the color of the world's oceans.

Various ocean colors indicated the presence of different types and quantities of marine phytoplankton, which played a role in the exchange of critical elements and gases between the atmosphere and oceans. The satellite Orbview-2 would monitor subtle changes in the ocean's color to assess changes in marine phytoplankton levels, and would provide data to better understand how these changes affected the global environmental and the oceans' role in the global carbon cycle and other bio-geochemical cycles. Complete coverage of the Earth's oceans would occur every two days. The NASA-sponsored mission was contracted as a "data buy" from a Orbital Sciences Corporation, who would build, launch, and operate the satellite, and then sell data from the satellite to NASA. NASA would retain all rights to data for research purposes, while would OSC retain all rights for commercial and operational purposes. The mission was a follow-on to the Coastal Zone Color Scanner (CZCS).

The spacecraft was nadir pointing, 3-axis stabilized to 0.5 deg with 0.08 deg knowledge using 2 momentum wheels and torque rods. Attitude determination was via redundant sun sensors, horizon sensors, and magnetometers. A hydrazine propulsion system with four 1-lbf thrusters was used for orbit raising and orbit maintenance. A nitrogen propulsion system provided stabilization during launch. Downlink used L-Band at 665.4 kbps, and S-Band at 2 Mbps. Uplink used S-Band at 19.2 kbps. Redundant GPS receivers allowed orbit determination. Four deployed solar panels with zenith-facing cells and two body-mounted side-facing solar panels produced 165 watts orbit-average after 5 years. A 160 MBytes solid state recorder was used for data storage.

NASA paid $ 43 million for the satellite. Launch was 4 years late to original plan.

AKA: SeaStar; SeaWiFS.
First Launch: 1997.08.01.
Number: 1 .

More... - Chronology...

Associated Countries
See also
  • Pegasus Privately-funded, air-launched winged light satellite launcher. More...

Associated Launch Vehicles
  • Pegasus American air-launched orbital launch vehicle. Privately-funded, air-launched winged light satellite launcher. More...
  • Pegasus XL American air-launched orbital launch vehicle. Uprated version of Pegasus air-launched winged light satellite launcher. 4 stage vehicle consisting of 1 x L-1011 + 1 x Pegasus XL stage 1 + 1 x Orion 50XL + 1 x Orion 38. More...

Associated Manufacturers and Agencies
  • NASA American agency overseeing development of rockets and spacecraft. National Aeronautics and Space Administration, USA, USA. More...
  • OSC American manufacturer of rockets, spacecraft, and rocket engines. Orbital Sciences Corporation, USA. More...
  • Hughes American manufacturer of rockets, spacecraft, and rocket engines. Hughes Aircraft Co. , USA More...

  • McDowell, Jonathan, Jonathan's Space Home Page (launch records), Harvard University, 1997-present. Web Address when accessed: here.
  • McDowell, Jonathan, Jonathan's Space Report (Internet Newsletter), Harvard University, Weekly, 1989 to Present. Web Address when accessed: here.

Associated Launch Sites
  • Point Arguello WADZ Air-launched rocket drop zone known to have been used for 28 launches from 1990 to 2007, reaching up to 4539 kilometers altitude. More...

Orbview-2 Chronology

1997 August 1 - . 20:20 GMT - . Launch Site: Point Arguello WADZ. Launch Pad: 36.0 N x 123.0 W. Launch Platform: L-1011. LV Family: Pegasus. Launch Vehicle: Pegasus XL. LV Configuration: Pegasus XL F16.
  • Orbview-2 - . Payload: Seastar. Nation: USA. Agency: Orbimage. Manufacturer: Germantown. Program: Orbview. Class: Surveillance. Type: Civilian surveillance satellite. Spacecraft: Orbview-2. USAF Sat Cat: 24883 . COSPAR: 1997-037A. Apogee: 708 km (439 mi). Perigee: 707 km (439 mi). Inclination: 98.2000 deg. Period: 98.90 min.

Home - Browse - Contact
© / Conditions for Use