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Ariel VI

Full resolution image
photo of Ariel VI in the clean room
Credit: NASA

* Mission Overview

UK6, which became Ariel VI in orbit, was launched from the Wallops Island Launch Center in the United States on 2 June 1979. The orbit obtained was a 600 km x 650 km elliptical orbit, at an inclination of 55 degrees. It carried 3 scientific instruments: one was a cosmic ray experiment and 2 were X-ray experiments. The X-ray detectors consisted of multi-layered proportional counters which were sensitive to the energy range 1-50 keV. The total effective area was ~300 cm2. There was also a collector system sensitive to 0.25 keV X-rays. The scientific output of these experiments was severely limited by electromagnetic interference from ground-based radar hampering the pointing operations. Ariel VI continued to provide data until February 1982.

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