- UNAMSAT is a 12 kg spacecraft built in Mexico at UNAM, a Mexican University. The primary
payload was a 41MHz radar to study micrometeoroids and space debris, and a Mexican
amateur payload was also included. The Russian Start-1 launcher failed after reaching
orbit from Plesetsk on the 28th March 1995.
- TechSat-1 (aka
- The 55kg TechSat Gurwin-1 satellite launch of the Russian Start-1 launcher from Plesetsk
failed on the 28th March 1995. The satellite was built in three years by the Haifa based
Technion Institute of Technology with industrial and government support from the former
Soviet Union. The satellite was supposed to be launched into a 670km orbit with a CCD
camera as the primary payload, and secondary objectives to test momentum wheels, and a
horizon sensor for 3-axis stabilisation. It also carried an amateur digital store and
forward transponder, UV camera and X-ray detectors.
More detail at: [Technion
- A 28kg scientific and technology
demonstration micro-satellite (picture) launched alongside
TSIKADA, a Russian maritime navigational spacecraft, and the FAISAT minisat on the 24th
January 1995 on a KOSMOS-3M launcher from Plesetsk on the 24th January 1995 at 03:54UTC,
into a 1023x968km, 82.9 degree inclined orbit. It is built by the Swedish Space Corp. with a mission to explore neutral
particles in orbit using three instruments (EMIL, MIO, and PIPPI) for measuring auroral
plasma and for auroral imaging. It employs the Freja-C microsatellite bus, and contains an
S-band downlink, which transmits compressed data at 8kbps, and 400/450MHz TT&C links.
It is attitude stabilised using magnetic coils and nutation dampers, employing analogue
sun-sensors and magnetometer sensors. The mission was cut short in March 95 due to an electrical fault. The satellite was
developed and launched for a total cost of $1.4m.
 9th AIAA/USU SSC '95
More detail at: [SSC] [ASTRID-1 at IRF] [paper]
Picture (right) courtesy of SSC.
- ORBCOMM FM1 and
ORBCOMM FM2, 1995-017A,B
- Launched on April 3rd 1995 on a Pegasus launcher into a 747x734, 69.9 degree inclined
orbit. Both are built by Orbital Sciences Corp. as part of a program to deploy a
26-satellite constellation providing global communications to hand-held terminals. The main
payload is a transponder to relay the GPS-determined locations of cargo trucks, and data
from oil pipeline monitors Other targeted applications are remote site data collection.
ORBCOMM-1 was initially reported to have problems communications with subscriber
and ORBCOMM-2 developed a problem which prevented it responding to uplink commanding,
however both problems were solved. The 47kg satellites are disc shaped, with two deployed
solar panels and a deployed antenna [picture-1, picture-2]. [More...][SSHP Small satellite constellations][ORBCOMM]
Picture courtesy of ORBCOMM.
- Launched on April 3rd 1995 on a Pegasus launcher into a 747x743, 69.9 degree inclined
orbit. The Pegasus was launched from underneath an L-1011 aircraft from Vandenberg AFB.
The 76kg microsatellite was built by Orbital
Sciences Corp., and is based on the ORBCOMM bus. A picture
shows it is disc shaped with two deployable solar panels. It carries a NASA lightning mapper, the Optical
Transient Detector. It also carries a weather sensor for the National Science Foundation,
employing a GPS-MET receiver monitoring the
transmission from any GPS spacecraft that appears near the horizon and inferring
temperature and humidity in its path. Both experiments have returned excellent and
valuable data, and the GPS-MET experiment has yielded good cross-correlation with
More detail at: [ORBIMAGE] [NASA] [UCAR] [Avalon Microsystems Inc.]
1995-020A. (MIR 1986-017A)
- GeoForchungsZentrum-1, a German 20kg
passive reflector deployed from the MIR space station airlock on the 19th April 1995,
initially delivered by a Progress M27 rocket. It was placed into 394x384, 52.56 degree
inclined orbit. The satellite is spherical with 0.2m diameter and carries 60 reflectors.
It was built by Kayser Threde of Germany. The spacecraft re-entered after the last
sighting on the 23rd June 1999
More detail at: [Kayser-threde][GFZ Potsdam GFZ page]
Picture (right) courtesy of KT.
- CERISE (Characterisation de l'Environment Radio-electrique par un Instrument Spatial
Embarque) is an experimental eavesdropping (ELINT) satellite by the French arms
procurement agency Delegation Generale pour l'Armement (DGA) in the ZENON programme. The 50kg spacecraft is procured by Alcatel Espace
from Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd., and was launched on July 7th 1995 on the Ariane V75
launcher ASAP, alongside UPMSAT, and with HELIOS 1A as the
primary mission. The orbit is 666 x 675km inclined at 98.1 degrees. The spacecraft is box
shaped with dimensions 600 x 350 x 350mm, has four fixed, and four deployable solar
panels, and is gravity gradient (6m boom) and magnetorquer stabilised. Cerise measures and
studies high frequency electronic signals in the 500MHz-20GHz band from targeted regions.
The satellite is reported to have cost US$17.4m (1995).
It suffered the first accidental collision between two orbiting objects, other than at
deployment. On Jul 21.41 (09.48 GMT) a piece of debris from the Ariane-1 third stage,
which launched SPOT in 1986, collided with CERISE which was launched in July 1995. During
the impact the upper portion of the CERISE gravity gradient boom was broken off, and was
catalogued as 1995-033E. Orbital elements for the objects following the collision would
suggest that the impact imparted no significant energy to either of the objects. The
satellite is still operational, albeit with reduced performance attitude control.
More detail at: [SSTL]
Picture (right) courtesy of SSTL.
- The Universidad Politecnica de Madrid Satellite is a microsat built by the University of
Madrid and CIDE, Spain. The 44kg (47kg before separation) satellite was launched
ARIANE V75 mission ASAP on the 7th July 1995 alongside
CERISE, and the primary payload HELIOS 1A, a military remote sensing satellite. The orbit
is 665x675km inclined at 98.1 degrees. The satellite is box shaped (picture) with dimensions 530 x 450 x 450mm, generates 30W end
of life DC power from its four solar panels (three Si, one GaAs), and carries fluid
dynamics and micro-gravity payloads. A 200kHz bandwidth UHF transmitter is also included
for communications research. It is attitude stabilised using magnetorquers.
Picture courtesy of UoM
(S2-X, S2-T) 1995-039F
- Magion-4 is a Czech microsatellite launched on a Molnia-M rocket on the 2nd August 1995
23:59GMT from launch site 43 of Plesetsk Cosmodrome. It was carried by the Interball-1
satellite and separated 9h21m later into a 192,000 x 776 km orbit inclined at 63 degrees.
The satellite was designed at the Lavochkin Research and production Amalgamation and is
intended to study the terrestrial magnetosphere, particularly its trail. The 50 kg
satellite carries various instruments including two for plasma measurements, three for E/B
waves, three for energetic particles/x-rays, and a magnetometer. These were designed by
researchers at the Institute for Space Research of the Russian Academy of Sciences in
close cooperation with scientists from 12 other countries. The spacecraft will remain
within 100,000km from the main Interball Tail spacecraft to perform simultaneous
measurements. In 1997 it is reported to have been operating successfully for two years.
[Picture][IKI Russia (Russian language pages
Picture courtesy of IKI.
- FASat-Alfa is the first Chilean satellite, and has been constructed under a Technology
Transfer Program between the Chilean Air Force (FACH) and Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd
(SSTL) of the United Kingdom. The FASat-Alfa satellite will use the modular UoSAT bus,
proved in ten previous missions. The satellite is being constructed at SSTL by a combined
group of engineers from FACH and SSTL. FASat-Alfa was launched on the 31st August 1995 at
0130 UTC as a secondary payload to SICH-1 from Plesetsk Cosmodrome into a 682 x 651km
circular orbit inclined at 82.53deg. The microsatellite failed to separate from the SICH-1
It will be replaced by the FASat-Bravo follow-on mission. (Launched 1998)
More detail at: [SSTL][FASAT mission home page][JPL
calendar news flash][The Launch configuration illustration shows
FASat on top of SICH]