The last observatory of the Orbiting Geophysical Observatory (OGO) was launched this morning at 7:43 A.
The last observatory of the Orbiting Geophysical Observatory (OGO) was launched this morning at 7:43 A. M. PDT into a low altitude, nearly polar orbit from the Western Test Range, Lompoc, California.
The launch of OGO-F marks the final phase of an era of large automated satellite studies of the nature and variability of the Earth's near space environment under the influence of the Sun.
The 25 experiments packed in the 1,393-pound observatory-the heaviest of the sixth OGO missions - will obtain global date over a complete range of latitudes extending from the Equator to the vicinity of the poles.
Planned for the period of maximum sunspot activity, OGO will investigate the Earth's upper atmosphere and ionosphere, the auroral regions surrounding the poles, and the edges of the regions of trapped radiation.
OGO was launched by a Taorad/Agena D Rocket into a nearly polar orbit. Preliminary orbital elements: Apogee 683 statue miles, Perigee 248 statue miles, inclination 82 degrees, and period about 100 minutes.
In orbit, OGO resembles a giant, surrealistic insect because of the many arm and leg-like booms, antennas, and wing-like solar panels which jut from its rectangular, box-shaped main body. Each OGO has more than 100,000 separate parts. During launch, the OGO appendages are folded against the main body.