Solar Mesosphere Explorer

Investigated ozone in the mesosphere

The SME was an Earth-orbiting spacecraft designed to investigate the processes that create and destroy the ozone in the mesosphere, the most upper layer of Earth’s atmosphere. SME launched on October 1st, 1981 and returned data until April 4, 1989. Nearly a year later, SME reentered Earth’s atmosphere.

Mission Class:

Larger Missions

Mission Status:


LASP Roles:

Research, Instruments, Data, Mission Operations, Lead Institute

Science Target:

Earth's Atmosphere

Mission Focus:

Earth's Atmosphere, Mesosphere, Solar Physics

Primary Mission Site:

Launch Date: October 6, 1981
Decommission Date: April 4, 1989
Mission duration: 7 1/2 years

Lead Institution: LASP

Lead Funding Agency: NASA

Partners: NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp.