Encyclopedia Astronautica

American earth ionosphere satellite. One launch, 1991.09.12. The Upper Atmospheric Research Satellite was designed to study the physical and chemical processes occurring in the Earth's upper atmosphere (between 15 and 100 km).

The vehicle provided measurements of atmospheric internal structure (trace constituents, physical dynamics, radiative emission, thermal structure, density) and measurements of the external influences acting upon the upper atmosphere (solar radiation, tropospheric conditions, electric fields). The specific UARS mission objectives were to study energy input and loss in the upper atmosphere, global photochemistry of the upper atmosphere, dynamics of the upper atmosphere, coupling among these processes, and coupling between the upper and lower atmosphere. The spacecraft was 3-axis stabilized via reaction wheels, torque rods to 36 arc seconds. Attitude knowledge to 20 arc seconds used star trackers, Earth sensors, an inertial reference unit, and Sun sensors. The single solar array was 1.5 x 3.3 meters and generated 1.6 kW, recharging 3 x 50 A-hr batteries. The hydrazine propulsion system provided for orbit insertion and maintenance. S-band communications was via low gain antennas and a gimbaled high gain antenna through TDRSS. The payload included:

  • Cryogenic Limb Array Etalon Spectrometer (CLEAS).
  • Improved Stratospheric and Mesospheric Sounder (ISAMS).
  • Microwave Limb Sounder (MLS).
  • Halogen Occultation Experiment (HALOE).
  • High Resolution Doppler Imager (HRDI).
  • Wind Imaging Interferometer (WINDII).
  • Solar-Stellar Irradiance Comparison Experiment (SOLSTICE).
  • Solar Ultraviolet Spectral Irradiance Monitor (SUSIM).
  • Particle Environment Monitor (PEM).
  • Active Cavity Radiometer Irradiance Monitor (ACRIM II).

AKA: Upper Atmosphere Research Satellite.
Gross mass: 6,795 kg (14,980 lb).
Height: 9.80 m (32.10 ft).
First Launch: 1991.09.12.
Number: 1 .

More... - Chronology...

Associated Countries
See also
  • Shuttle The manned reusable space system which was designed to slash the cost of space transport and replace all expendable launch vehicles. It did neither, but did keep NASA in the manned space flight business for 30 years. More...

Associated Launch Vehicles
  • Shuttle American winged orbital launch vehicle. The manned reusable space system which was designed to slash the cost of space transport and replace all expendable launch vehicles. It did neither, but did keep NASA in the manned space flight business for 30 years. Redesign of the shuttle with reliability in mind after the Challenger disaster reduced maximum payload to low earth orbit from 27,850 kg to 24,400 kg. More...

Associated Manufacturers and Agencies
  • NASA American agency overseeing development of rockets and spacecraft. National Aeronautics and Space Administration, USA, USA. More...
  • Fairchild American manufacturer of rockets, spacecraft, and rocket engines. Fairchild, USA. More...

  • McDowell, Jonathan, Jonathan's Space Home Page (launch records), Harvard University, 1997-present. Web Address when accessed: here.
  • JPL Mission and Spacecraft Library, Jet Propulsion Laboratory, 1997. Web Address when accessed: here.
  • McDowell, Jonathan, Launch Log, October 1998. Web Address when accessed: here.

Associated Launch Sites
  • Cape Canaveral America's largest launch center, used for all manned launches. Today only six of the 40 launch complexes built here remain in use. Located at or near Cape Canaveral are the Kennedy Space Center on Merritt Island, used by NASA for Saturn V and Space Shuttle launches; Patrick AFB on Cape Canaveral itself, operated the US Department of Defense and handling most other launches; the commercial Spaceport Florida; the air-launched launch vehicle and missile Drop Zone off Mayport, Florida, located at 29.00 N 79.00 W, and an offshore submarine-launched ballistic missile launch area. All of these take advantage of the extensive down-range tracking facilities that once extended from the Cape, through the Caribbean, South Atlantic, and to South Africa and the Indian Ocean. More...
  • Cape Canaveral LC39A Shuttle, Saturn V launch complex. LC39A and LC39B, part of the Kennedy Space Center, were built on Merritt Island (north/northwest of the Cape) to support the Saturn V/Apollo lunar landing program. The sites were modified in the last half of the 1970s to support the manned Space Shuttle program. Construction began in December 1963. Complex 39A was completed on 4 October 1965. Complex 39A supported two unmanned and nine manned Saturn V/Apollo missions between 9 November 1967 and 8 December 1972. The site also supported the launch of the Skylab space station on 14 May 1973. Both complexes were modified to support Space Shuttle missions later on. Complex 39A supported the first Space Shuttle launch on 12 April 1981. More...

UARS Chronology

1991 September 12 - . 23:11 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC39A. LV Family: Shuttle. Launch Vehicle: Shuttle. LV Configuration: Space Shuttle STS-48.
  • UARS - . Payload: Discovery F13 / UARS. Mass: 6,795 kg (14,980 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: NASA Greenbelt. Class: Earth. Type: Ionosphere satellite. Spacecraft: UARS. Decay Date: 2011-09-24 . USAF Sat Cat: 21701 . COSPAR: 1991-063B. Apogee: 582 km (361 mi). Perigee: 574 km (356 mi). Inclination: 57.0000 deg. Period: 96.20 min. Upper Atmospheric Research Satellite; deployed from STS-48 on 15 Sepetember 1991. It studied the depletion of the ozone layer, confirming that CFCs cause the `ozone hole', and improved models of upper atmosphere chemistry, including studies of methane in the Antarctic, sulphur dioxide from volcanoes, and global wind measurements. Some media hysteria surrounded its reentry on 24 September 2011, but it apparently came down unobserved in the Pacific Ocean east of Hawaii.

Home - Browse - Contact
© / Conditions for Use