Imagine the Universe!
Imagine Home | Satellites and Data |

Spacelab 1

artist concept of Spacelab
Credit: NASA

* Mission Overview

The first Spacelab mission, in orbit in the payload bay of the Space Shuttle (STS-9) from 28 November-8 December 1983, carried a multi-disciplinary payload intended to demonstrate that good science could be done on short shuttle flights.

* Instrumentation

An X-ray spectrometer, measuring 2-30 keV photons (although 2-80 keV was possible), was on the pallet. The primary science objective was to study detailed spectral features in cosmic sources and their temporal changes. The instrument was a gas scintillation proportional counter (GSPC) with ~ 180 cm2 area and energy resolution of 9% at 7 keV. The detector was collimated to a 4.5 deg (FWHM) field of view. There were 512 energy channels.

* Science

Data were accumulated for all intended targets. These included: Cyg X-2, 4U1636-53, Her X-1, Coma, Cyg X-3, Perseus, Cyg X-1, Cas A, Crab, Cen X-3, Cen X-2, and Vela X-1.

[Gallery] ( [Publications] (

Imagine the Universe is a service of the High Energy Astrophysics Science Archive Research Center (HEASARC), Dr. Alan Smale (Director), within the Astrophysics Science Division (ASD) at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center.

The Imagine Team
Acting Project Leader: Dr. Barbara Mattson
All material on this site has been created and updated between 1997-2012.

DVD Table of Contents
Educator's Index