Sunday, August 12, 2012
Happy 35th, HEAO 1!
August 12th marks the 35th anniversary of the launch of the High Energy Astronomy Observatory 1 (HEAO 1) aboard an Atlas rocket with a Centaur upper stage. Known prior to launch as HEAO A, the HEAO 1 satellite was the first of three in the HEAO series. During its roughly 17 months of operation, HEAO 1 scanned the sky in the X-ray band almost three times. The satellite provided nearly constant monitoring of X-ray sources near the ecliptic poles, as well as more detailed studies of a number of objects through pointed observations.
HEAO included four large X-ray and gamma-ray astronomy instruments, known as A1 (the Large-Area Sky Survey instrument), A2 (the Cosmic X-ray Experiment), A3 (the Modulation Collimator instrument), and A4 (the Hard X-ray / Low-Energy Gamma-ray experiment). The orbital inclination was about 22.7 degrees. HEAO 1 operated until January 9, 1979 and then re-entered the Earth's atmosphere on March 15, 1979.
To learn more about HEAO 1, visit the mission page, hosted by NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center
heasarc.nasa.gov/docs/heao1/heao1.html , and the information page maintained by NASA's National Space Science Database, nssdc.gsfc.nasa.gov/nmc/spacecraftDisplay.do?id=1977-075A .
To learn about NASA's latest X-ray mission (launched June 13th), the Nuclear Spectroscopic Telescope Array (NuSTAR), visit www.nasa.gov/nustar and www.nustar.caltech.edu .