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Part of MMS Family
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American solar satellite. The Solar Maximum Mission (SMM) was intended primarily to study solar flares and related phenomena. Solar observatory satellite built by Fairchild for NASA, USA. Launched 1980. Used the MMS bus.

AKA: Solar Maximum Mission. Status: Operational 1980. First Launch: 1980-02-14. Last Launch: 1980-02-14. Number: 1 . Gross mass: 2,315 kg (5,103 lb). Height: 4.00 m (13.10 ft).

Launched during a period of maximum solar activity, SMM observed more than 12,000 flares and over 1,200 coronal mass ejections during its 10 year lifetime.

SMM provided measurements of total solar radiative output, transition region magnetic field strengths, storage and release of flare energy, particle accelerations, the formation of hot plasma, and coronal mass ejection. The payload also observed the short-wavelength and coronal manifestations of flares.

Observations from SMM were coordinated with in situ measurements of flare particle emissions made by the ISEE 3 satellite. SMM was the first satellite to be retrieved, repaired and redeployed in orbit. In 1984, the STS-41C Shuttle crew restored the spacecraft's malfunctioning attitude control system and replaced a failed electronics box for the coronagraph/polarimeter. SMM collected data until 24 November 1989, and re-entered on 2 December 1989.

The solar payload instruments and the sun-sensor system were contained in the instrument module occupying the top 2.3 meters of the craft. The Multimission Modular Spacecraft (MMS), below the instrument module, contained the systems for attitude control, power, communication, and data handling. Two fixed solar panels, located between the instrument module and the MMS supplied 1500-3000 W. The fine-pointing Sun-sensor system had a precision of 1 arcsec along all 3 axes. The payload included:

  • Active Cavity Radiometer Irradiance Monitor (ACRIM) - measured total solar irradiance.
  • Gamma Ray Spectrometer (GRS) - studied the composition of solar and interstellar gamma ray emissions.
  • Hard X-ray Burst Spectrometer (HXRBS) - studied hard X-ray spectra of solar flares in 15 energy channels between 20-260 keV.
  • soft X-ray Polychromator (XRP) - monitored soft X-ray emissions.
  • Hard X-ray Imaging Spectrometer (HXIS)
  • Ultraviolet Spectrometer and Polarimeter (UVSP) - a raster imager providing 0.04 A sp. res.
  • Coronograph/Polarimeter - studied the faint solar corona between 2 and 5 solar radii with a 6.4 arcsec resolution.

More at: SMM.

Family: Astronomy, Solar. Country: USA. Launch Vehicles: Thor, Delta, Delta 3910, Delta 3000. Launch Sites: Cape Canaveral, Cape Canaveral LC17A. Agency: NASA, Fairchild. Bibliography: 2, 279, 6, 11796, 13109.

1980 February 14 - . 15:57 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC17A. LV Family: Thor. Launch Vehicle: Delta 3910.
  • SMM - . Payload: Solar Maximum Mission. Mass: 2,315 kg (5,103 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: NASA Greenbelt. Class: Astronomy. Type: Solar satellite. Spacecraft Bus: MMS. Spacecraft: SMM. Decay Date: 1989-12-02 . USAF Sat Cat: 11703 . COSPAR: 1980-014A. Apogee: 408 km (253 mi). Perigee: 405 km (251 mi). Inclination: 28.5000 deg. Period: 92.70 min. Solar Maximum Mission; solar observatory; repaired 4/9/84 by STS-41C in orbit. Spacecraft engaged in practical applications and uses of space technology such as weather or communication (US Cat C). .

1989 November 23 - .
  • Solar Maximum ends operating life. - . Nation: USA. Spacecraft Bus: MMS. Spacecraft: SMM. SMM finished collected data . It re-entered on December 2, 1989..

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