- FAISAT is a 115kg minisatellite by Final Analysis Inc.,
launched on a Russian COSMOS-3M launcher alongside TSIKADA, a Russian maritime
navigational spacecraft, from Plesetsk on the 24th January 1995 at 03:54UTC into a
1021x967km, 82.9 degree inclined orbit. Its primary mission is digital Store and Forward
communications, targeting remote terminals in the U.S. FAISAT also includes a secondary
USAF payload (capilliary loop?), which is reported to have not yet been switched on due to
lack of funding. The satellite is the forerunner in a proposed
constellation, and tested communication protocols in the little LEO VHF and UHF bands.
It has a downlink at 400.6MHz. FAISAT-1 was not able to establish satisfactory remote
terminal demonstrations and communication links. It was eventually switched off in May
1996 when it was decided that different frequency bands were to be used for the
constellation. A second experimental satellite, FAISAT-2V will be launched for this
purpose. It was later launchd in 1997
[future launches: FAISAT-2V][USAF Phillips Lab
Experiment Aboard Russian Space Booster]
- OFEQ-3 is an Israeli surveillance 189 kg/180 W, 36kg payload mass, minisatellite that
was launched westward by a Shavit launcher at 11:16 UT 5th April 1995 from the Palmachim
launch site into a 729x367 km, 143.3 degree inclined orbit. It is the first generation of
Israeli small satellite bus (picture) being marketed by Israel
Aircraft Industries and MLM System Engineering and Integration, and carries a light-weight
electro-optical scanner, and astronomical experiments. The spacecraft is three axis
stabilised. It is an octagonally shaped cyclinder, with two deployed 1.8 sq m panels
panels. Telemetry rate is 15kbps, and command rate 5kbps. The satellite is three axis
stabilised with 0.1 deg accuracy. The satellite is reported to have been placed into a
near 500km circular orbit from 1998, and have run out of fuel subsequently
or in 1999.
- STEP-3 (P92-2)
- Launcher failure on June 22nd 1995 on a Pegasus XL launcher.It was to have been placed
into a 833km polar orbit. The Space Test Experiment Platform was built by TRW for the USAF
and carried a host of technology demonstrations including computer memory experiments. The
bus is part of the TRW lightsat family, and measures 1.12 x 1.78m, weighs 268kg and
generates 132W from its solar panels. [More...][Step-3 at TRW]
Picture (right) courtesy of TRW.
- GEMStar-I aka
- The CTA GEMStar-I (VITASAT-I) satellite partially sponsored by Volunteers In Technical
Assistance (VITA) of Arlington Virginia, was launched at 2230 UTC from Vandenberg AFB on
the 15-Aug-95, but a second stage failure destroyed the first flight of the Lockheed LLV-1
launch vehicle (later dubbed Athena). The 136kg
mini-satellite measured 1m in diameter and is 660mm high. It employs gravity gradient
stabilisation, was 3-axis stabillised, and was based on CTA Inc' GemStar bus (CTA refer to
the satellite as GemStar 1). It was intended to be placed into a 650km orbit, receive 9.6
and 19.2kbps in the 148-150.5MHz band, and transmit at 9.6, 19.2 and 38.4kbps in the
137-137MHz and 400.15-401MHz bands.
Picture (right) courtesy of CTA.
- Multiple Experiment Transporter to Earth Orbit and Return. was DSI built for NASA,
launched on the first Conestoga 1620 launch from Wallops Island which failed on the 23rd
October 1995. The intended orbit was 555km at 40 degrees. The satellite main payloads was
a recoverable in microgravity research. The satellite was 3-axis controlled and inertially
pointed, and carried a GPS receiver. It weighed 363kg. The $14 million rocket was procured
by NASA to carry 14 scientific experiments, for NASA and private companies, into orbit.
The experiments included projects on zero-g plant growth, cancer research, and the effect
of low temperatures on commercial heaters. More...
[METEOR at EER systems][METEOR at AEC-ABLE]
 "Conestoga Poised To Loft METEOR", by James R. Asker, AVIATION
WEEK, 14 August 1995, p60.
 "Third US Small Launcher Fails", by James R. Asker, AVIATION WEEK, 30
October 1995, p63.
Picture (right) courtesy of CTA.
- Skipper, 1995-072B
- Skipper was launched as a secondary payload alongside INSAT-2C on the 28th December 1995
on a Molniya-M launcher from Baikonur, into a 813x803km sun-synchronous orbit inclined at
98.6 degrees. From this position, the spacecraft was to have lowered its perigee to 130km,
but its solar panels were wired wrong, and discharged the batteries. The 240kg spacecraft
was funded by the Ballistic Missile and Defence Organisation (BMDO), built by Lavochkin
NPO and Moscow Aviation Institute, and carried sensors developed by Utah State University
Space Dynamics Laboratory. The spacecraft was to be used for aerothermal and aerochemistry
experiments, by measuring bow shock generated UV radiation when the spacecraft dips into
the atmosphere. The satellite was to perform a 30 day mission before re-entering the
atmosphere. An artist impression shows the spacecraft was
cylindrical in shape measuring 1.5m long with one end of the cylinder being a heat shield.
[Florida Today Space Online news report]
Picture courtesy of popular mechanics.