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Ariel 5[1] was a joint British and American[2] space telescope dedicated to observing the sky in the X-ray band. It was launched on 15 October 1974 from the San Marco platform in the Indian Ocean and operated until 1980. It was the penultimate satellite to be launched as part of the Ariel programme. It was designed to fit a resource budget of 2 kg, 1 bit per second, and 1 W.[3]

Ariel 5
Mission typeAstronomy
OperatorSERC / NASA
COSPAR ID1974-077A
SATCAT no.7471
Spacecraft properties
ManufacturerGoddard Space Flight Center
Launch mass130.5 kg (288 lb)
Start of mission
Launch date15 October 1974, 07:47:00 (1974-10-15UTC07:47Z) UTC
RocketScout B-1
Launch siteSan Marco
End of mission
Decay date14 March 1980
Orbital parameters
Perigee altitude512 km (318 mi)
Apogee altitude557 km (346 mi)
Inclination2.9 degrees
Period95.3 minutes
Epoch14 October 1974, 23:00:00 UTC
Rotation Modulation Collimator (RMC)
2- to 10-KeV Sky Survey Instrument (SSI)
High-Resolution Source Spectra
Bragg Crystal Spectrometer (BCS)
High-Energy Cosmic X-Ray Spectra
All-Sky Monitor

The All-sky monitor (ASM) was two one-dimensional pinhole cameras scanned most of the sky every spacecraft revolution.[3] The angular resolution was 10 x 10°, with an effective area of 3 cm2 (0.465 sq in), and a bandpass of 3–6 keV.

The SSI had an angular resolution of 0.75 x 10.6°, with an effective area of 290 cm2 (45 sq in), and a bandpass of 2–20 keV.[3]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Smith, J. F. "The Ariel 5 Programme". Courtier, G. M. (contributing). Royal Society.
  2. ^ "HEASARC: Observatories - The Ariel V Satellite". NASA. Retrieved 3 March 2008.
  3. ^ a b c Priedhorsky WC; Holt SS (1987). "Long-term cycles in cosmic X-ray sources". Space Sci Rev. 45 (3–4): 291–348. Bibcode:1987SSRv...45..291P. doi:10.1007/BF00171997.