Encyclopedia Astronautica

American earth magnetosphere satellite. One launch, 1994.11.01. Wind was designed to provide continuous measurement of the solar wind, particularly charged particles and magnetic field data.

This data wind will help determine how the solar wind affects magnetospheric and ionospheric behavior.

Wind, and its sister spacecraft Polar, were NASA's contribution to the International Solar Terrestrial Program (ISTP), an international effort to quantify the effects of solar energy on the Earth's magnetic field. The specific objectives of Wind were to: (1) provide complete plasma, energetic particle, and magnetic field input for magnetospheric and ionospheric studies; (2) determine the magnetospheric output to interplanetary space in the upstream region; (3) investigate basic plasma processes occurring in the near-Earth solar wind; and (4) provide baseline ecliptic plane observations to be used in heliospheric studies. The satellite carried the first Russian instrument to fly on a US spacecraft since cooperation resumed in 1987.

The spacecraft had body-mounted solar cells, several long wire spin-plane antennas, inertial booms, and spin-plane appendages for instruments support sensors. SIt was spin stabilized at 20 rpm around an axis within 1 deg of normal to the ecliptic. Data was stored using tape recorders. Downlink to Deep Space Network was at 5.5 or 11.1 kbps. The payload included:

  • EPACT (Energetic Particle Acceleration, Composition and Transport) telescope suite - designed to provide a comprehensive study of energetic particle acceleration and transport processes in solar flares, the interplanetary medium, planetary magnetospheres, and galactic cosmic rays.
  • Magnetic Field Investigation (MFI) magnetometers - investigated the large-scale structure and fluctuation characteristics of the interplanetary magnetic field as a function of time. Seven measurement ranges: plus or minus 16, 64, 256, 1024, 4096, 16,384, and 65,536 nT with resolution up to 2.5E-4 to 1 nT.
  • Radio and Plasma Wave Experiment (WAVES) - measured the intensity and arrival direction for radio and plasma waves originating in the solar wind near the Earth. Provided by France.
  • Solar Wind Ion Composition Spectrometer (SWICS) / Suprathermal Ion Composition Spectrometer (STICS) - designed to provide detailed measurements of the elemental and ionic-charge composition of the solar wind, measurements of the average speed, density, and temperature of solar wind 4He++, measurements of the average speed of solar wind protons, and measurements of the energy distributions of selected ion species.
  • Solar Wind Experiment (SWE) - a six-axis ion-electron spectrometer which provides three-dimensional velocity distribution functions for ions and electrons, with high time resolution.
  • Transient Gamma Ray and EUV Spectrometer (TGRS) - made high-resolution observations of transient gamma-ray events in the energy range from 20 keV to 10 MeV.
  • 3-D plasma and energetic particle analyzer (3DP) - measured the three-dimensional distribution of plasma and energetic electrons and ions with high energy, angular, and temporal resolution, over the energy range 10 eV to 5 MeV.
  • KONUS gamma ray detectors.

Gross mass: 1,195 kg (2,634 lb).
Height: 2.00 m (6.50 ft).
First Launch: 1994.11.01.
Number: 1 .

More... - Chronology...

Associated Countries
See also
  • Delta The Delta launch vehicle was America's longest-lived, most reliable, and lowest-cost space launch vehicle. Development began in 1955 and it continued in service in the 21st Century despite numerous candidate replacements. More...

Associated Launch Vehicles
  • Delta American orbital launch vehicle. The Delta launch vehicle was America's longest-lived, most reliable, and lowest-cost space launch vehicle. Delta began as Thor, a crash December 1955 program to produce an intermediate range ballistic missile using existing components, which flew thirteen months after go-ahead. Fifteen months after that, a space launch version flew, using an existing upper stage. The addition of solid rocket boosters allowed the Thor core and Able/Delta upper stages to be stretched. Costs were kept down by using first and second-stage rocket engines surplus to the Apollo program in the 1970's. Continuous introduction of new 'existing' technology over the years resulted in an incredible evolution - the payload into a geosynchronous transfer orbit increasing from 68 kg in 1962 to 3810 kg by 2002. Delta survived innumerable attempts to kill the program and replace it with 'more rationale' alternatives. By 2008 nearly 1,000 boosters had flown over a fifty-year career, and cancellation was again announced. More...
  • Delta 2 7000 American orbital launch vehicle. The Delta 7000 series used GEM-40 strap-ons with the Extra Extended Long Tank core, further upgraded with the RS-27A engine. More...
  • Delta 7925-10 American orbital launch vehicle. Four stage vehicle consisting of 9 x GEM-40 + 1 x EELT Thor/RS-27A + 1 x Delta K + 1 x Star 48B with 3.05 m (10 foot) diameter fairing More...

Associated Manufacturers and Agencies
  • NASA American agency overseeing development of rockets and spacecraft. National Aeronautics and Space Administration, USA, USA. More...
  • Martin American manufacturer of rockets, spacecraft, and rocket engines. Martin Marietta Astronautics Group (1956), Denver, CO, 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.

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 LC17B Delta launch complex. Part of a dual launch pad complex built for the Thor ballistic missile program in 1956. Upgraded over the decades for use with Thor, Delta, Delta II, and Delta III launch vehicles, it remained in use for over half a century. More...

Wind Chronology

1994 November 1 - . 09:31 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC17B. LV Family: Delta. Launch Vehicle: Delta 7925-10. LV Configuration: Delta 7925-10 D227.
  • Wind - . Mass: 1,195 kg (2,634 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: NASA Greenbelt. Class: Earth. Type: Magnetosphere satellite. Spacecraft: Wind. USAF Sat Cat: 23333 . COSPAR: 1994-071A. Apogee: 1,578,658 km (980,930 mi). Perigee: 48,840 km (30,340 mi). Inclination: 19.6500 deg. Period: 318,240.00 min. Solar wind research in L-1 halo orbit; part of International Solar Terrestrial Physics program. 221 day orbit. NASA's Wind probe made its 32nd lunar flyby on August 19, 2000, with a closest approach of 7600 km to the surface. This placed it on a 2 million km apogee orbit, adjusted on August 26 to an approximately 567000 x 1620000 km x 21.8 deg `Distant Prograde Orbit', reaching apogee on September 29 2000.

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