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Explorer 4

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Explorer IV
Missing image
0200146.jpg
Explorer 1

Organization:Army Ballistic Missile Agency
Major Contractors: Jet Propulsion Laboratory
Mission Type: Earth Science
Satellite of: Earth
Launch: July 26, 1958 at 15:07:00 UTC
Launch Vehicle: Jupiter-C
Decay: October 23, 1959
Mission Duration: 71 days
Mass: 25.5 kg
NSSDC ID: 1958-005A
Webpage: NASA NSSDC Master Catalog (http://nssdc.gsfc.nasa.gov/database/MasterCatalog?sc=1958-001A)
Orbital elements
Semimajor Axis: 7,616.2 km
Eccentricity: .127936
Inclination: 50.3
Orbital Period: 110.2 minutes
Apogee: 2,213 km
Perigee: 263 km
Orbits: ~5,930
Instruments
Geiger-Mueller detector : Measurements of charged particles
Caesium iodide crystal detectors : Measurements of charged particles
Plastic scintillation counter : Measurements of charged particles

Explorer 4 was a US satellite launched on July 26, 1958. It was instrumentated by Dr. James van Allen's group. The Department of Defense's Advanced Research Projects Agency had initially planned two satellites for the purposes of studying the Van Allen radiation belts and the effects of nuclear explosions upon these belts (and the Earth's magnetosphere in general), however Explorer IV was the only such satellite launched.

Explorer 4 was a cylindrically shaped satellite instrumented to make the first detailed measurements of charged particles (protons and electrons) trapped in the terrestrial radiation belts. An unexpected tumble motion of the satellite made the interpretation of the detector data very difficult. The low-power transmitter and the plastic scintillator detector failed September 3, 1958. The two Geiger-Mueller tubes and the caesium iodide crystal detectors continued to operate normally until September 19, 1958. The high-power transmitter ceased sending signals on October 5, 1958. It is believed that exhaustion of the power batteries caused these failures. The spacecraft decayed from orbit after 454 days on October 23, 1959.

See also

External links




Previous Mission:
Explorer 3
Explorer program Next Mission:
Explorer 5
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