Solar physics experiments above the atmosphere
The objectives of the Orbiting Solar Observatory satellite series were to perform solar physics experiments above the atmosphere during a complete solar cycle and to map the entire celestial sphere for direction and intensity of UV, X-ray and gamma radiation. LASP participated in both OSO-5 and OSO-8. The OSO-5 platform consisted of a sail section that pointed two experiments continually toward the sun and a wheel section that spun about an axis perpendicular to the pointing direction of the sail and carried six experiments. The OSO-8 platform consisted of a sail section, which pointed two experiments continually toward the sun, and a wheel section, which spun about an axis perpendicular to the pointing direction of the sail and carried five experiments.
Launch Date: January 22, 1969 (OSO-5); June 21, 1975 (OSO-8)
Prime Mission: 6.5 years (OSO-5); 3.5 years (OSO-8)
Lead Institution: NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center
Lead Funding Agency: NASA’s High Energy Astrophysics Observatories
Other organizations involved: Ball Aerospace (built OSO-5), Hughes Aircraft Company (built OSO-8)