Encyclopedia Astronautica
Viking (Sweden)

Swedish earth magnetosphere satellite. One launch, 1986.02.22, Viking. Sweden's first satellite, Viking, was originally initiated as a means of providing experience in satellite system development and management.

The mission's scientific goal was to continue the work of a series of successful sounding rockets by investigating the interaction of the solar wind with the earth's magnetosphere and the behavior of the resulting aurora borealis.

The vehicle's instruments returned a large quantity of data, and completely recorded the full cycle of auroral activity. The total project cost was approximately 20 million US dollars ($FY'86). The spacecraft was based on the USAF Small Scientific Satellites and NASA's Atmospheric Explorers, and spin stabilized at 3 rpm with torque rods. S-band downlink was at 49.6 kbit/s data rate. Power came from solar cells on the spacecraft body totaling 2.2 square meters, providing 80 W average power. There was no onboard data storage. The payload included:

  • V-1: Electric field - measured electric field. Experiment included 4 40m wire booms and two 4m rigid booms.
  • V-2: Magnetic field - measured magnetic field using a 3-axis fluxgate magnetometer mounted on a 2m boom.
  • V-3: Hot plasma and energetic particles - measured several different energy ranges with 7 different sensors.
  • V-4L: Low frequency waves - Used 2 of the V-1 wire booms plus a magnetic coil antenna on a 2m rigid boom to measure electromagnetic waves between 0 - 15 kHz.
  • V-4H: High frequency waves - Used same sensors as V-4L to measure waves between 10 - 500 kHz.
  • V-5: UV auroral imagers - imaged the Earth's aurora at UV frequencies between 1235A - 1600A and 1340A - 1800A.

Gross mass: 538 kg (1,186 lb).
Height: 0.50 m (1.64 ft).
First Launch: 1986.02.22.
Number: 1 .

More... - Chronology...

Associated Countries
See also
  • Ariane First successful European commercial launch vehicle, developed from L3S Europa launch vehicle replacement design. Development of the Ariane 1 was authorised in July 1973, took eight years, and cost 2 billion 1986 Euros. More...

Associated Launch Vehicles
  • Ariane French orbital launch vehicle. First successful European commercial launch vehicle, developed from L3S Europa launch vehicle replacement design. Development of the Ariane 1 was authorised in July 1973, took eight years, and cost 2 billion 1986 Euros. More...
  • Ariane 1 French orbital launch vehicle. First version of the Ariane launch vehicle. More...

Associated Manufacturers and Agencies
  • SSC Swedish manufacturer of rockets and spacecraft. Swedish Space Corporation, Sweden. More...
  • Boeing American manufacturer of rockets, spacecraft, and rocket engines. Boeing Aerospace, Seattle, USA. More...
  • Saab Swedish manufacturer. Saab Dynamics AB, Sweden. 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
  • Kourou After the agreement with newly independent Algeria for France to evacuate their launch sites in that country, a location near Biscarosse was selected for French missile testing. However since only launches westwards across the Bay of Biscay could be made from this site, it was unsuitable for France's Diamant orbital launch vehicle. After reviewing 14 potential sites, a location in the South American French colony of Guiana was selected. This would allow over-water launches to a tremendous range of possible orbital inclinations -- from -100.5 deg to 1.5 deg. Being near the equator, it would provide the maximum assist from the earth's rotation for launches into equatorial orbits. The decision was formalized in April 1964 and in July 1966 ELDO chose the site for future launches of the Europa II launch vehicle. More...

Viking (Sweden) Chronology

1986 February 22 - . 01:44 GMT - . Launch Site: Kourou. Launch Complex: Kourou ELA1. LV Family: Ariane. Launch Vehicle: Ariane 1. LV Configuration: Ariane 1 V16.
  • Viking - . Payload: Spot 1 / Viking. Mass: 538 kg (1,186 lb). Nation: Sweden. Agency: SSC. Class: Earth. Type: Magnetosphere satellite. Spacecraft: Viking (Sweden). USAF Sat Cat: 16614 . COSPAR: 1986-019B. Apogee: 13,524 km (8,403 mi). Perigee: 817 km (507 mi). Inclination: 98.8000 deg. Period: 261.60 min. Studied magnetic, electric, UV properties of auroral regions. Scientific satellite for the investigation of space plasma physics in the part of the magnetosphere close to the Earth, particularly in connection with the auroral phenomena. The nominal mission period is eight months but an extension can be envisaged. ST /SG/SER.E/167: The satellite Viking has ceased to function on 12 May 1987 due to a gradual degradation of its electrical power supply system. The satellite remains, however, in Earth orbit.

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